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PAFB Museum taking shape

Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— A new museum is in the works for Plattsburgh, and everyone is invited to help get it started.

A meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 3, in the War of 1812 Museum on the old Air Force base to discuss plans for the Plattsburgh Air Force Base Museum.

If you go

What: Meeting to discuss the Plattsburgh Air Force Base Museum

When: Wednesday, April 3, at 7 p.m.

Where: The War of 1812 Museum at 31 Washington Road

This event is free and open to the public.

The museum will be located at 31 Washington Rd., the former home of the War of 1812 Museum, and will encompass the period the base was active, from 1955-1995.

“We started our (War of 1812) museum in that building, and then we outgrew it and moved across the road,” said Keith Herkalo, president of the Battle of Plattsburgh Association board.

Wednesday’s meeting will inform people about how they can get involved, either by donating money, time, or memorabilia, and will also work toward raising awareness about the project.

“We had an information meeting two weeks ago to see if there’s any interest, and there definitely is,” Herkalo said. “We had 27 local people show up, and now it’s going across the country.”

During that meeting on March 20, the Plattsburgh Air Force Base Museum was proposed and approved by the Battle of Plattsburgh Association’s board of directors.

Paperwork for the project is now awaiting registration and filing by the New York State Department of State.

In the meantime, Herkalo said friends of those involved with the museum and people who used to live in the area have been contacting him daily and offering to help.

Other organizations have also offered to help, the like the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, whose apprenticeship program has agreed to provide all the labor to put in the electric heat and run the wiring in the building.

Some clerical concerns need to be worked out, too.

“We need to establish the mechanism for receiving that material, controlling it, cataloging it and describing it,” Herkalo said. “All that stuff takes time.”

If everything goes smoothly, Herkalo hopes the museum can be open by Spring 2014.

“Most of the people that were here are still around, they’re still alive, and they want a place where they can collectively remember the time that they were here,” Herkalo said.

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