- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 13, 2017

ATCHISON, Kan. (AP) - A nonprofit that purchased the last known airplane identical to the one Amelia Earhart flew has announced plans for a new airport facility in Kansas that will serve as a museum to showcase the plane and as a terminal for airport traffic.

The Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation is finalizing renderings of the $10 million Amelia Earhart Hangar Museum, developing a branding campaign and beginning a fundraising effort, the News-Press Now (https://bit.ly/2s6o2gC ) reported.

The historic plane known as Muriel will be the museum’s focal point. Muriel is an Electra Model 10E, which is the same model flown by Earhart in her attempt to circle the globe. Muriel is the last surviving model of the 14 planes manufactured.

The foundation’s chairwoman, Karen Seaberg, hopes the project will be completed within two years. She said that once Muriel is situated in the new facility, the airplane will serve to educate children about Earhart and aviation and attract visitors to Atchison.

“It’s happening, and we’re excited,” Seaberg said.

Educational programming will be geared toward students in kindergarten through sixth grade, but the museum’s components will aim to appeal to people of all ages.

The nearly 17,000-square-foot (1,579-square-meter) building will also serve as a new terminal facility for anyone flying in or out of the airport, as well as a community gathering space.

The foundation’s plans call for the airport to be a public-use and noncommercial airport, although the proposed building will be privately funded and the museum privately operated.

Seaberg said funding will come primarily from various grants, foundations and donors.

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Information from: St. Joseph News-Press/St. Joe, Missouri, https://www.newspressnow.com

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