TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - At the Tyler Historic Aviation Memorial Museum, they’re ready for takeoff, well ... reopening after the February winter storm left them with severe damage. Nearly two months later, artifacts and books are back in place, and they are opening back up for regular hours starting Tuesday.
This announcement comes after many hours of work put in by members and volunteers. Ivan Torres is a board member, and he spent many hours helping.
“Our biggest challenge was the library, of course, because we have a few hundred books in there. We had to take them all out,” Torres said. “Make sure that all the kickboards and the carpeting was inspected, and now we’re slowly putting everything back.”
Louis Thomas, another board member, said they are thankful to all the contractors for working so diligently.
“Well they did find mold, which was good that we did all that work and they found it, and then they had to have a contractor come in and remove the mold. The contractors did a fantastic job, too, because they came in here and worked really hard to get it done for us in time,” Thomas said.
Ceiling tiles had to be replaced, and display cases had to be moved off the carpets, so they could be cleaned. They also salvaged the items that they could.
“We had to take the mannequins down and take the uniforms off. There is a local company that does restoration. The uniforms being so old, you couldn’t just send them to the laundry or cleaners, it just wouldn’t work. They’d disintegrate,” Thomas said. “And the company knows how to preserve and restore old garments. So they’re in the process of doing that now.”
Thomas and Torres said the museum’s history of local people and beyond is important to share with others and they are looking forward to doing that.
“The museum is ready. We’re open for business and we’re ready for our customers and ready to talk about our history of aviation and the history of this county,” Thomas said.
The museum will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission fees are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 dollars for teens, and children ages 6 to 12 are $4.