A popular downtown attraction has snared public funds for an expansion that will showcase the heroic deeds of local veterans.
The Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park is planning to turn its Hangar Building currently used for storage and events into an exhibit space. The new facility will include an expanded Hall of Honor.
The long-term project has already received funding from the city, county and state. Friday, another $250,000 state grant was announced during a ceremony.
World War II veteran John Long said he’s excited about the new additions to come.
“This Naval Park is the heart and soul of the veterans throughout our nation, and I’m so grateful that this will now become a point of destination for all who have served the country. And it will be a place for everyone, especially our young people. [They] can come and learn about the great sacrifice our veterans have made and what our wars have been about.”
The attraction located at Canalside on the downtown waterfront has been growing in popularity, officials said.
“The Naval and Military Park is one of the top five attractions in Western New York, and as far as tourist attractions are concerned," said Naval Park Chairman Don Alessi.
The planning process is underway. Construction is scheduled to begin next July with a goal of completing the expanded exhibit space by mid-summer of 2019.
Khalid Terrell and Terra Harter contributed to this report.