It's a new year, and at the Military Aviation Preservation Society (MAPS) Museum there is a new look to the facility.

It's a new year, and at the Military Aviation Preservation Society (MAPS) Museum there is a new look to the facility, with more changes to come as the year progresses. Some of these changes are easily visible to see, while others will be more subtle.

Perhaps the biggest change physically at the museum is the removal of the old heating unit, called the "Green Monster," from the back of the museum. Its removal allows the repositioning of aircraft and provides more floor space. Replacing the decades-old heating unit are six 60-foot radiant heating units mounted in the ceiling.

"These were provided by C R Kurtz Heating," said MAPS director Kim Kovesci. "They gave us a very good deal on them which we appreciate.”

The new heaters provide a better source of heat, are more economic and much quieter.

Throughout the museum, displays and artifacts have been moved to make better use of the space. The Martin B-26 "Marauder" has been moved and the items and artifacts that pay tribute to Goodyear have been reconfigured.

MAPS has 47 aircraft, according to Kovesci.

"We recently acquired an A-4A ‘Skyhawk’ from the old Chanute air base museum. We are still looking to obtain at least one, if not two, UH-1 ‘Huey’ helicopters to put on display,” he said. “Right now, we are focusing on our current aircraft and redoing the ones we have that need attention, along with our current projects under restoration.”

Two new displays have been added. One is the" Vietnam Tree" which holds dog tags that have the names of all Ohioans who were killed in Vietnam. This had first been introduced during the welcoming home ceremonies for Korean and Vietnam era veterans.

The MAPS facility is also home to a larger collection of Ohio military artifacts. The Ohio Military Museum, formerly located in Massillon, has moved its collection to MAPS

 "We have four displays from them in our "Gallery of Heroes,’” Kovesci said. “In addition, we will have a room up on our second floor dedicated to their artifacts and hope to have it finished by June 1. In conjunction with that and our second floor remodeling, we also need to get our elevator project completed to provide access to that area. Hopefully that will be completed this coming April".

Overall, the museum is looking at three phases to update and improve the facility.

Phase One included the elevator completion and the Ohio Military Room. Phase Two involved bathrooms and work on the second floor. Phase Three will see the competition of a banquet facility and kitchen on the second floor. Many of the displays and memorabilia in the banquet hall will be from the old 356th Fighter Group Restaurant which recently closed.

All three phases should be complete by 2019.