With a camouflaged construction hardhat in hand, Nassau County Laura Curran greets museum volunteer Stacy Wasson following the announcement of a matching grant for the Museum of American Armor.
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Armor Museum gets county assist for new facility

A matching grant from Nassau County will help the Museum of American Armor to build a new maintenance facility.

The county committed to contribute up to $500,000 to the $1 million project that will create the pre-engineered maintenance structure behind the museum’s existing 25,000-square-foot building inside Old Bethpage Village Restoration.

The museum expects to begin construction on the project later this year. One vehicle already in line for repair and restoration is the museum’s iconic Sherman tank whose aging twin engines need an overhaul or replacement.

“There are some fifty armor vehicles in the museum’s collection and each one of them requires varying amounts of maintenance and repair at any given time,” Armor Museum Founder and President Lawrence Kadish said in a written statement. “The ability to build a freestanding structure that will allow us to perform that work is essential to our long term commitment to operate these historic vehicles for today’s visitors and tomorrow’s generation.” 

The matching grant for the maintenance facility is part of Nassau’s efforts to ensure the county’s museums and cultural institutions rebound from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The county’s initiative will include matching funds raised for the specific purpose of undertaking capital improvements. The program will encourage each participating museum in Nassau to pursue physical enhancements and create jobs in the process.

“We are deeply appreciative of County Executive Laura Curran recognizing the role that all museums play in adding considerable strength to the economy as well as our shared educational and cultural experiences,” Armor Museum Senior Trustee Michael Sapraicone said in the statement. “With some of our armor vehicles 75 years old, this matching grant could not have arrived at a more opportune time. With significant financial pledges already in place, we have the means to break ground by the end of the year and move quickly on needed maintenance of armor that represents courage, valor, and sacrifice on behalf of our freedoms.”

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