(COLUMBUS, OHIO – August 11, 2022) The non-profit Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame and Learning Center (OAS) has received a $275,000 grant from the City of Columbus toward the renovation of the historic original Port Columbus terminal into its new home and for aviation-themed youth education programming designed to enhance workforce development in the aerospace and technology sectors.
The original terminal and tower, a 13,000 square-foot Art Deco style structure on the corner of East Fifth Avenue and Hamilton Road, was built in 1929. It served as the terminal and control tower for Port Columbus, now John Glenn International Airport, until 1958, when a modern terminal took over operations on the other side of the airport property.
The terminal was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. After being leased from the airport and converted to business offices in 1984, it sat vacant after the last tenants moved out in the early 1990’s. Seeking to preserve the terminal, a local group raised funds to stabilize the building and install a new roof in 2016. In 2018, the OAS secured a State of Ohio grant of $550,000 toward renovation costs and signed a long-term lease on the property with the Columbus Regional Airport Authority.
An OAS two-phase campaign remains underway to raise the approximately $4 million total required to convert the vacant structure into a civic showpiece that will feature a public exhibit hall, state-of-the-art education center, observation deck, and event space.
OAS has received numerous grants and donations since its inception and announced in January that Columbus-based NetJets and Flight Safety International each sponsored parts of the project and agreed to partner on workforce development initiatives. Additionally, OAS has a Memorandum of Understanding with The Ohio State University’s Center for Aviation Studies to co-develop AvSTEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) curriculum for high school students and collaborate on public education outreach programs across the state. OAS officials expect to similarly engage the engineering and aeronautics departments of other Ohio universities and community colleges in the coming months.
“The OAS Board of Trustees, our generous supporters, and I want to thank the Mayor and Columbus City Council for this significant and most timely support,” said OAS Executive Director, Ron Kaplan. “We are dedicated to transforming this historic, grand landmark to honor our city and state’s rich aviation heritage and to ensure that our AvSTEAM focus vitally impacts the ‘Strong Neighborhoods’, ‘Good-Paying Jobs’, and ‘Pathways Out of Poverty’ initiatives of the Mayor and City Council.”
“Columbus is a growing city that has become more attractive to visitors and new residents globally because of our vast resources and rich history,” said Columbus City Councilmember Emmanuel V. Remy. “Renovating the 1929 Port Columbus Air Terminal restores a valuable piece of our history while also bringing The Ohio Air and Space Hall of Fame and Learning Center to the great city of Columbus. This will be an invaluable asset that will inspire young minds and remind the rest of us of our accomplishments as a nation.”
OAS officials anticipate Phase One renovations will begin in early 2023. For more information visit www.OhioAirandSpace.org or call (937) 212-8847.
About The Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame and Learning Center:
The Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame and Learning Center (OAS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to permanently preserving the inspiring legacies of this state’s outstanding pioneers of flight, prominently heralding their achievements both as a point of pride and to foster continued innovation and a skilled workforce. The OAS will additionally educate the public about the rich history of Ohio’s aviation and aerospace industries, and its airports, including that of the OAS future home in the soon-to-be-renovated original Port Columbus Air Terminal, located at John Glenn International Airport (CMH) in Columbus, Ohio.