The Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center hopes to move into their new location by next spring.
A decade-long effort to build a museum and nature center to tell the story of the start of Lewis & Clark's journey is about to get off the ground in Albemarle County.
The Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center actively started raising money to build its own home four years ago. The center now has the $1.2 million it needs from the state, grants, and private donors.
The center currently runs nature and history programs out of a barn in Darden Towe Park. A new 2,500 square foot facility will be built nearby along the Rivanna River. It will house history exhibits and a library about Albemarle County native Meriwether Lewis and his expedition partner William Clark.
The exploratory center expects the new facility will be a place for central Virginia school groups and tourists to learn more about the starting point for America's westward expansion.
"People who live here think about Jefferson and sometimes they don't go much further than that in their thoughts about history," stated Sally Thomas, vice president of the center's board. "But, Lewis & Clark essentially started here and the west is very interested in the fact that this is where Lewis & Clark started."
The center's board members will spend the next month reviewing a pile of design and construction proposals that just came in before picking a final plan. The goal is to move in to the new facility by spring of next year.
The center is kicking off a fundraising campaign throughout this year to make its new facility sustainable and green.
For more information about the Lewis & Clark Exploratory Center and its programs, click here.