The marshal’s museum, the community arts school will arrive in 2022

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FORT SMITH – Two major riverside developments are expected to arrive in 2022.

According to the museum administration, the US Marshals Museum has an early opening date of July 2022, based on securing $ 8 million to produce exhibits inside. Next door, the Community School of the Arts is setting the stage for its $ 7.5 million installation, which is expected to arrive next year, said Rosilee Russell, the school’s executive director.

Russell said she and the administration of the Marshals Museum felt like “a catalyst to start real waterfront development” so that restaurants, hotels, athletic fields and parks eventually take hold in the area.

“Activating and getting families to enjoy the riverside is something that we have all been trying for a long time, decades, and these will,” said Sam Sicard, commissioner of the Central Business Improvement District.

Over $ 38.6 million in cash, pledges and land was raised for the construction of the 53,000 square foot museum honoring the history and legacy of America’s oldest law enforcement agency. law, according to Alice Alt, president of the Marshals Museum Foundation. When complete, the museum is expected to attract more than 100,000 people a year, which could have up to $ 34 million in economic impact on Sebastian County, according to estimates from the Arkansas Economic Development Institute and Leisure. Development Partners.

The museum will offer a museum experience of the Los Angeles-based Thinkwell group. The establishment already has a hall of honor dedicated to members of the Marshals’ service who died in the exercise of their functions.

The museum will produce the exhibits once $ 8 million of the remaining $ 12.5 million has been raised, said Patrick Weeks, president and CEO of the museum.

“In two or three weeks we would be able to project a timeline,” Weeks said on Wednesday.

In the meantime, the museum has hosted events such as quinceaneras and governors’ conferences, which have generated revenue for the museum, Alt said.

Fort Smith voters rejected a proposal in March 2019 to levy a 1% nine-month sales tax to pay for its completion.

The museum is located just south of where the administration of the Community School of the Arts is overseeing the construction of its new facility. The approximately 37,000 square foot school will house educational spaces for teaching music, theater, dance, visual arts, film and the culinary arts.

The students will come from a 60-mile radius reaching eastern Oklahoma, Russell said. The school currently educates 800 students in the classrooms of the schools in which they are enrolled and at St. Boniface School and the Central Presbyterian Church.

“Between us and the people of the Marshals there are a lot of things we can do that will get people to the riverside,” Russell said.

Russell could not give a specific completion date for the school, but said concrete will be poured on the ground in two to three months. The school administration “finalizes some decisions” about the ground by the river before pouring the slab, she said.

The end cost could also be a bit higher due to supply cost inflation due to Covid-19, Russell said. But she added that the project was “moving forward” to allow teachers and administration to move in by the end of 2022.

“We think these are destination places, and they’re riverside, so we think they’ll attract families, local and not local,” Sicard said.

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The competition

Fort Smith was chosen rather than Washington, Nashville, Tenn., St. Louis and Laramie, Wyo., As the home of the US Marshals Museum.

Source: US Marshals Service


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