Museum officials said that the carrier, which was decommissioned from the US Navy fifty years ago, receives no Navy or government funding and relies on business operations and philanthropy.
The goal of the campaign, which starts today, is to raise $800,000 to repair and resurface the 100,000 square-foot flight deck, and repair two aircraft elevators.
Planned repairs to the flight deck include caulking cracks to prevent drainage onto the original teak deck below the surface, repairing soft spots and weather-damaged sections, weatherproofing, and resurfacing, ultimately preserving the ship and improving visitor safety.
“At the heart of the Heritage Fund Campaign is our commitment to education. The USS Hornet not only serves as a living history of some of the most significant events in our country’s history, but it also represents a dynamic contribution to our nation’s future through our STEM education program,” said Tom Hyland, the Museum’s Director of Development. “This is an ‘all hands on deck’ opportunity for our supporters to help chart the Hornet’s future and to enable us to inspire future generations for decades to come.”
The Hornet Heritage Fund represents the first major fund-raising effort for the Hornet since it was opened as a museum in the mid-1990s.
Officials said that approximately 80,000 people visited the ship’s flight deck in 2014.