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Expansion to come at the US Army Heritage Education Center

MIDDLESEX TOWNSHIP – The U.S. Army Heritage Education Center is $2 million closer to completing an $8.5 million expansion thanks to a state grant awarded to the Army Heritage Center Foundation.

Gov. Tom Corbett visited AHEC on Wednesday to announce the Economic Growth Initiative Grant being awarded to the foundation, a nonprofit with the goal to support AHEC and educate the public about the Army’s contributions to the United States. “We are continuing our journey with an investment here that will help educate and captivate those who want to learn about this great nation, in particular the history of this branch of the armed forces,” said Corbett, a former captain in the Pennsylvania National Guard.
“Those who have worn the uniform know and understand what it means to serve our country and serve a great cause. We are here today in place that will educate future generations who may not have had that opportunity. In fact, we all hope that future generations don’t have to have that opportunity.” During his visit, Corbett toured the visitor education center and spoke to a gathering of current and retired military members as well local business leaders during a ceremony held to recognize the foundation receiving the state grant.
“I want to promise you governor, this is not a donation,” Chairman of the Army Heritage Center Foundation Board of Directors Robert Scales said. “Anytime I take people here and tell them about this being the heart and soul of the Army culture and the soldier … all I do is say take a minute and listen to what’s over there. That highway, 81, 83 and 76, they all come here. … If we start to build this thing out, we can put a couple of million people into this institution every year.”

Scales, a retired U.S. Army major general, served as commandant at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle from 1997 to 2000, at which time the preparation for AHEC began.
“When I left as commandant of war college this was just a cornfield, and look at it now,” Scales said, highlighting the growth that AHEC has seen over the last decade.

Future plans for AHEC include an $8.5 million expansion, which will add 37,000 square feet to the visitor center and will include more art gallery space, rotating exhibits and extra multipurpose rooms. When the expansion is complete, AHEC is expected to employ 67 people and contribute $5.8 million into the economy, including $1 million in taxes, according to Jonathan Bowser, CEO of Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp.

According to Mike Perry, executive director of the Army Heritage Center Foundation, the state’s contribution to the growth of AHEC helps solidify the Midstate as the heart of military history in Pennsylvania.

 

You can read the full article here from the Sentinel.

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