FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) – The City of Fort Smith was awarded the United States Marshals Museum in 2007 and fundraising began in 2009, but it’s still under construction.
The building was dedicated back in September 2019 on the 230th anniversary of the U.S. Marshal service.
Foundation President Alice Alt says the building itself will be complete in the very near future. She says they will be moving furniture into the building next week.
“We have about $8 million more to go, our sight is focused on that $8 million to finish up our $50 million dollar campaign, so we can push go on our experience production which are the gallery spaces inside the museum itself and we are just moving fast and furiously into 2020,” Alt said.
The grand opening of the museum will either be at the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021. Right now, there are spaces inside the building available to rent for events.
There will also be a café inside the building that will serve lunch.
President and CEO Patrick Weeks says one of the exhibits inside is complete.
“We have that Hall of Honor over there that highlights 376 names of fallen marshals, deputy marshals, police members, special deputies, task force officers all who died doing the business of the Marshals Service,” Weeks said.
Alt says the Marshals Museum will be a cultural destination but the real mission of the museum is to educate. She says they already exists as a museum without walls because of their education department.
“We’ll have innovative opportunities, we’ll have experiences for people to see," Alt said. "We’ll have technology for people to encounter and a beautiful wide-open space that faces our riverfront, so they’ll be opportunity for quality of life, economic development, economic impact. All of those things are what will happen when we open our doors.”
The museum sits on 16 acres and there will be a path that will lead from the museum to the riverfront trail.