NEW LONDON, CONN. — A group raising money to build a museum celebrating the Coast Guard and honoring its history said Monday it has raised $100,000.
The National Coast Guard Museum Association said it hopes to raise $1 million by Labor Day with support from a group of donors called the “Barque Eagle Society,” named for the Coast Guard’s sail training ship that is based at the Coast Guard Academy in New London.
Planners say they’ll build the museum in downtown New London.
Plans call for a four-story, 54,300-square-foot building with four floors of interactive exhibits, event space and lecture rooms. The Eagle is set to be docked at a nearby pier as an attraction.
The museum’s cost is expected to be $80 million to $100 million, with $20 million from the state.
Backers say they hope to break ground in May 2014.
With donations of $1,000, $5,000 or a three-year commitment of $15,000, members of the “Barque Eagle Society” will receive a limited edition painting of the Barque Eagle on canvas by Coast Guard artist Tony Falcone.
John Johnson, treasurer of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, said donations will help hire architects, engineers, site planners and traffic consultants.
Donald A. Kimball, a retired Word War II Coast Guard veteran from Stonington, was the 100th donor and will be honored with other First 100 contributors, with a bronze plaque inscribed with his name and placed at the entrance to the museum.
Kimball, a fourth generation Coast Guard veteran, donated $1,000 in memory of this grandfather, who was skipper of a three-mast vessel in 1918.