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Officials lay out plans for Onondaga County War Memorial upgrade

Tom Magnarelli
Syracuse War Memorial

Onondaga County has firmed up plans for an $8.5 million renovation of the downtown Syracuse War Memorial, and taxpayers will be on the hook for about half the cost.

This latest round of planned renovations for the War Memorial will keep it the home of the Syracuse Crunch Hockey team. County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon says the improvements will make way for a new lease that will be signed between the county and the hockey team. He says almost half of the cost of the upgrades will come from ticket fees, that new Crunch lease and some potential state grants. The county will have to borrow the rest.

“There’s a chunk that we need to pay to make the commitment to the community, to the team," McMahon said. "And so we have a $4.5 million bond in front of us to help pay for marquees, scoreboards, various improvements in the facilities, suites.”

McMahon says there will be other improvements that reflect the fact that it is a memorial to veterans, including improved veterans exhibits and a Korean War-style officers club. He also expects improvements to help attract more events to the facility that is 66 years old. 

Lawmakers will vote on issuing the bonds next month.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.