COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The new National Veterans Memorial and Museum is on track to open to the public in July 2018.
Two members of the local Congressional delegation got their first inside look at the construction site Monday afternoon.
Rep. Steve Stivers, a veteran, said he was surprised by the size of the project and impressed by what he saw. “I think when it’s finished it will be so incredible and unique it could draw people from 8 to 10 hours away and I think that’s great for Columbus but it’s also a great way to honor our veterans from all across the country,” Stivers said.
Stivers, a Republican from Upper Arlington, is leading an effort to pass a federal resolution to officially designate the new facility as The National Veterans Memorial and Museum. “National museums don’t have to be in Washington, D.C..,” Stivers said. “We are closer to the center of the population of this country than Washington, D.C.”
“This is bigger than Columbus,” said Rep. Joyce Beatty. “It’s bigger than Central Ohio. This is a national monument.”
The museum will have about 30,000 square feet of exhibit space, a rooftop amphitheater and an outdoor memorial wall and a 2.5 acre grove for reflection and remembrance.
Local leaders see the new facility as a key piece in the makeover of the Scioto Peninsula. They believe it will help make the area a destination for visitors of all ages.
“I think it becomes a place where not only veterans and families (will go) but think of the number of students that can come here and really witness what they’re learning in school,” Beatty said.