By Brennan Smith
December 9, 2011
Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) More than $500,000 from the Regional Economic Development plan will fund the construction of a world-class museum.
It is hoped to serve as a major tourist attraction for those travelling through the Binghamton area.
The plan is to showcase the innovation that started in the Southern Tier and continues to this day.
Since August of 2010, the Techworks! Prototype Workshop has entertained guests with a World War II Link flight trainer, an early IBM computer, and the U-E Electric car out of an old ice cream factory on Water Street.
The workshop has already hired the help of designers, including the former chief of exhibits at the Smithsonian, to draw up plans for a new, interactive museum.
The Center for Technology and Innovation says the Southern Tier has a rich history of innovation, and it's something that's still going on today.
"We have a lot to build on, but the present is also very, very creative. The patent rate in this area, right now, is double the national average. It's a fallacy to say that we're in our low-point. We might not be as flowering as we were, double in the national average in terms of patents," said Susan Sherwood from the Center of Technology and Innovation.
The building will be completely renovated and use a green, geo-thermal heating system, and the parking lot will be made of porous concrete to help prevent flooding.
It is hoped to generate $6 million of tourist revenue locally.