“I would like to take a moment of your time to update you on the progress we are making toward opening Wings of Eagles Discovery Center to the public. It has been a long, difficult journey over the past two years and I apologize for the many delays we have experienced.
In fact, we first planned to open our doors to the public in October 2011. But then we slipped through a series of opening dates, each confidently predicted, then cast aside as a host of problems with construction scheduling took their toll. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. Our project was complex from the beginning, as we purchased our new home from Elmira Savings Bank, who had obtained the property through the business failure of the previous owner. Parcels had to be merged, roads had to be built and a host of subcontractors lined up to do the necessary renovations. Jim Penwell of Streeter Associates did a masterful job of juggling and without his expertise we still wouldn’t be where we are today.
We “moved in” during June. A herculean effort by staff and volunteers handled some 40 loads from storage and began the tedious job of placing it around the display hangar. Their tireless effort allowed us to open the doors to education on July 9th, when our “Summer of Innovation” students began to arrive. We have close to 400 registered for this suite of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) courses and it’s great to hear their excited voices bringing life to the building!
While classes occupy half the floor, we continue to work on the other side to mount our display boards, place books on shelves and generally prepare to receive our aircraft. The latter will be a big event in August! We will be looking for sponsorship for each aircraft that will make the trek through the airport fence, across the ditch and road, through the field and finally arrive in our new parking lot. It should be quite a show!
So when will we open to the public? Well, this is probably my third or fourth prediction, but I’m sticking with Labor Day weekend! We will get you some updates as we get closer. So please save the date and we will look forward to welcoming you soon!”
-Mike Hall, President/CEO of Wings of Eagles Discovery Center