Ground broken for national Army museum at Fort Belvoir

FORT BELVOIR, Va. (AP) — A nonprofit foundation is breaking ground at Fort Belvoir for the National Museum of the U.S. Army.

The event Wednesday’s marked the ceremonial start of construction for the Army Historical Foundation’s $200 million project.

The organization says on its website that the Army is the only branch of the U.S. military without a national museum.

The complex is tentatively scheduled to open in 2019 on an 80-acre site about 20 miles south of Washington.

The foundation says the main building will cover 185,000 square feet. It will display items from the Army’s 15,000-piece art collection, plus artifacts, documents and images dating from 1775 to the present.

The group says it expects the museum to attract 750,000 visitors annually.

The Army will own and operate the museum once it opens.

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