TICONDEROGA Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward and District Director Meg Wood recently toured Fort Ticonderoga and the nearly-completed Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center recently with fort staff.
Noting that it will be an outstanding new resource for the North Country both saw potential for additional education programming as well as public and private functions.
Saywards office has been instrumental in securing over $25,000 funding for Fort Ticonderogas educational programs in the last five years. This support has enabled Fort Ticonderogas outreach programs to visit over 1,000 students in the 113th Assembly District in their classrooms as well as enabling over 2,000 students to participate in the national award winning program Americas First Victory on the fort grounds.
Most recently funding enabled books and DVDs on Fort Ticonderoga and the American Revolution to be distributed to all the school libraries in the 113th District. The Revolutionary War is also the theme of a curriculum building project for educators, that takes the story of Fort Ticonderoga through to1776 and the British evacuation from Boston.
In addition to the state-of-the-art exhibition space, the Mars Education Center will house classrooms, meeting facilities and a multi-purpose auditorium that will seat up to 230 people. The new facility is scheduled to open in 2008 and will allow Fort Ticonderoga to remain open all year for the first time in 100 years. The climate controlled museum will allow fragile articles in the fort collections to be on display to the public and enable the museum to host traveling exhibits.
Rising on the east side of the parade grounds the new building is sited in the exact location of the original French magasin du Roi, the Kings warehouse. Master stone masons are working to conceal the modern structure with stone quarried from the same vein as the original stone used in 1755. A replica of the original on the outside, the MEC uses cutting-edge technology, is LEED Certified and will make use of geothermal heating from wells drilled nearly 1,000 feet deep.
After touring the Kings Garden and lunching at the Log House Restaurant, Sayward renewed her commitment to support funding initiatives for history education.
Fort Ticonderoga Director Nicholas Westbrook gave a brief review of the extensive land holdings the Fort has committed to open space and agricultural use on both the Vermont and New York sides of the Lake.