DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Construction on a new building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton will force temporary closure of the museum's Missile and Space Gallery.
The museum says the gallery will be closed for about five months beginning Dec. 8.
Some exterior wall panels of the gallery are being removed to form new entrances for the new building.
The museum's fourth building is scheduled to open to the public in spring 2016. It will be the new home of the museum's presidential aircraft, research and development, space and global reach exhibits.
Construction starts this summer on a new wing at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton. The 224,000-square-foot addition will host the presidential aircraft gallery, an expanded space gallery, the research and development gallery, and a global reach gallery about airlift operations.
Last week, two Ohio legislators took action to prevent an historical aircraft from being moved out of the state. That request was granted and so the plane that once served as Air Force One will stay in Dayton, Ohio.
The Boeing aircraft, known as SAM 26000, operated as Air Force One for Presidents Kennedy through Clinton. Since its retirement in 1998, it has found a home at the National Museum of United States Air Force in Dayton.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force says work on a new building can go ahead in southwest Ohio.
Work on the $35.4 million expansion project was held up after another contractor filed a protest of the award to Turner Construction Co. But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reviewed the bid award and rejected the protest.
The Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Texas wants to adopt President Kennedy’s Air Force One that’s now at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton. The request isn’t sitting well with Ohio leaders.
The plane that served as Air Force One for Presidents Kennedy through Clinton is part of the Presidential Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Now, the LBJ Library has asked the Air Force to transfer the aircraft to their collection.