Youngstown Steel Heritage Foundation outlines plans for museum.

Staff report


The Youngstown Steel Heritage Foundation hosted a number of executives for a roundtable discussion that focused on the past and future of the Mahoning Valley’s steel industry.

The event at a Friday luncheon at the Youngstown Country Club gave Rick Rowlands, the foundation’s executive director, an opportunity to highlight his plans for an interactive steel museum.

The group still is working to raise funds for that project, but Rowlands first announced plans for such a space last September.

To date, the foundation has collected more than 5,000 tons of historical steelmaking equipment. The organization also envisions a space at the museum dedicated to the city’s current steelmaking operations, a step it would achieve by working with area companies such as V&M Star.

“Our eventual goal is to be able to show people the size and scale of the steelmaking process,” Rowlands told The Vindicator at the time. “We want to showcase some of this larger equipment and demonstrate the manufacturing ability of the Mahoning Valley.”

A capital campaign was previewed at the luncheon, with monetary pledges including a $5,000 grant from the Tod Foundation and a $10,000 donation from an anonymous donor.

The steel heritage foundation already has spent about $200,000 restoring and transporting some of its equipment. Rowlands said the museum’s tentative opening date is 2014.

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