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National WW II Museum expansion opens

Courtesy National World War II Museum

NEW ORLEANS — In early June, the National World War II Museum opened the John E. Kushner Restoration Pavilion, the new home of the museum’s PT-305 boat while it is restored.

The center will offer visitors the chance to watch the restoration as it happens. Visitors will be able to see the techniques that conservators use to repair and restore other World War II-era boats, vehicles, weapons, military equipment and other artifacts.

In addition, the pavilion will house a wood shop and designated areas for welding, painting and exhibit fabrication and will serve as a storage area for large artifacts and parts of the museum collections.

The pavilion is part of a $300 million expansion of the museum that will quadruple the size of the original facility when it is completed in 2014. The expanded museum will have four pavilions that will portray all campaigns of the war on land, sea and air and each branch of the U.S. military services.

The first phase of the expansion opened in November 2009 with the Solomon Victory Theater, Stage Door Canteen entertainment venue and American Sector restaurant.

The United States Freedom Land, Sea and Air Pavilion and the Campaigns Pavilion are scheduled to open next year.