Air Force Academy Visitor Center

The Air Force Academy Visitor Center is named for Barry Goldwater, who was a leading proponent of the Academy's creation and who later served on the Academy's Board of Visitors. (U.S. Air Force photo/Don Branum)

The Air Force Academy Visitor Center is named for Barry Goldwater, who was a leading proponent of the Academy's creation and who later served on the Academy's Board of Visitors. (U.S. Air Force photo/Don Branum)


The Barry Goldwater Air Force Academy Visitor Center serves as the gateway to the academy, providing information on its history and cadet life to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

The 31,600-square-foot building contains exhibits, a snack bar and a gift shop. A one-third-mile nature walk east of the facility allows visitors to walk to the Cadet Chapel.

A short movie highlighting the academy experience is shown throughout the day in the 250-seat theater. The exhibit area features displays on history and cadet life with specially designed kiosks to explain the academy's four "pillars of excellence." These refer to the four areas of the cadet training program: character development, academic, athletic, and military training.

Video and static displays, a hometown map, and fiber optic light display of a typical cadet day fill the 5,652-square-foot exhibit area.

The Lt. Gen. "Skip" Scott Conference Facility, located on the second floor, features an executive conference room that seats 49 and state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment.

The center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., closing only on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Self-guided tour maps and information on the academy are available at the information desk.

The center was built with donated and borrowed funds totaling $4.5 million. The private organizations that donated the building to the Air Force named it in honor of retired Arizona Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, an avid supporter of the Academy. The facility opened its doors in June 1986.

(Current as of December 2009)