The Tulsa Air and Space Museum and help from Tulsa's Vision plan

Tuesday, July 29th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

It's only a fraction of the Tulsa Vision Plan, but $2-million could make a big difference for the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.

It's on the west side of Tulsa’s International Airport now - but it's going to move to a new location near the entrance to Mohawk Park and the Tulsa Zoo. News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan has the story.

It's called an Air and Space Museum - but it's really a museum for children. 16,000 visited last year. Stephanie Upton is here with her two boys from Skiatook. “They got to launch the space shuttle, and go up to see the Top Gun jet.” The museum caters to kids with exhibits they can get their hands on and classes where they can learn about aviation.

Lee Raney with the Air and Space Museum: “our main goal here is educating young people, we use aviation and space subjects which get them excited about math and science and technology.” It opened five years ago and now it's cramped for space.

The museum sits in an industrial area of the airport in half a hangar, without air conditioning. In September - the museum breaks ground on a new building, four times as big, on a more visible spot northeast of the airport.

The Air and Space Museum wants to build on their proven track record. They already attract lots of tourists, and they're already debt free. The Vision package would let them speed up their building program. "The Vision plan lets us accelerate our project, finishing up Hangar 1 and getting our space center planetarium into place, that's what it would do for us."

If voters approve the Vision package, the museum will get $2 million to build a planetarium that would open in 2005. Regardless, the museum plans to move by next summer. They already have the money for that - and believe they can become even more of a tourist attraction and educational museum - if they build under the Vision plan.