Construction is beginning on a $17 million site that will attract people from all over the country.

On Monday Governor Cuomo announced that work is being started on a project in Orange County that has been in the planning stages for over a year.  4,300 square feet of new and refurbished exhibit space will be coming to the area as a part of this massive project. The result will be an attraction with audio-visual and media presentations, museum-quality exhibits, enhanced lighting, touch-screen interactive monitors, and multiple large-format graphic displays.

The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor was opened in 2006 to pay homage to the 1.8 million American military members who have been wounded or killed by enemy action. Since its opening, the museum has drawn more than 176,000 visitors from all over the world. The planned expansion will give the hall a whole new look and feel that is expected to attract even more tourists. Located in New Windsor, the museum is not far from where George Washington handed out the very first Badge of Military Merit, which eventually became the Purple Heart.

The hall will officially close on Friday so construction can begin. During the closure, a temporary exhibit will be set up at Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site in Newburgh. The major expansion will take about a year to finish. If all goes according to plan the $17 million upgrades will be unveiled at a ceremony around Veterans Day of 2020.

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