Plans to build an archive facility to house artifacts from the Smokies and other Tennessee National Parks are moving move forward.
Senator Lamar Alexander announced the decision with the US Department of the Interior Secretary in Townsend on Monday.
The Joint Curatorial Collections Facility will be located in Townsend on land donated by the Smoky Mountain Heritage Center. The project is expected to cost $4.3 million dollars.
More than half of the money will come from private donations.
The facility will house more than 800,000 historical artifacts, photographs and records.
"It's a home that the National Park Service hopes will be a place where families will give things in the future, that they've kept in their homes but they want those things to be in a safe place," said Senator Alexander.
Artifacts from The Andrew Johnson collection, Big South Fork, Cumberland Gap and the Obed Scenic River will also be kept in the new facility. They hope to have it finished by the Summer of 2015.