FORT SMITH — Officials have delayed the opening of Fort Smith's $50 million U.S. Marshals Museum until 2017.
The U.S. Marshals Museum Board initially planned to open the museum in 2016. But museum president and CEO Jim Dunn said Tuesday that it will take longer to build the 50,000-square-foot building along the Arkansas River.
Groundbreaking for the facility is still set for Sept. 24.
According to the Southwest Times Record, museum officials had raised about $14 million for the museum as of last December. Officials also anticipate receiving $8 million from a federal tax credit program and up to $5 million from the sale of commemorative U.S. Mint coins marking the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Marshals Service.
Those coins are set to go on sale Jan. 1, 2015.
Meanwhile, the museum said a gift from the widow of the late Lt. Gov. Winthrop Paul Rockefeller will fund a three-year lecture series there.
The museum said the $100,000 donation from Lisenne Rockefeller will allow it to attract speakers from the executive, judiciary and legislative branches of the U.S. government to Fort Smith to speak about the marshal's history as it connects to each branch. Each program is to be free and public.