Construction on the American Indian Cultural Center will resume this summer

The American Indian Cultural Center and Museum. (KOKH / FILE)

Agreements have been signed to begin completion of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City.

The City of Oklahoma City, the State of Oklahoma and a subsidiary of the Chickasaw Nation have closed on land agreements that will set in motion the completion of the museum.

"This is a promise that was made to the public a long time ago, and the sooner we can get the facility open, the sooner we can start generating that positive tax revenue for the state of Oklahoma," said James Pepper Henry, director and CEO of the center.

Construction on the center, which sits near the junction of I-35 and I-40, stopped in 2012 after state funding dried up. The city says that construction will resume in the summer and take approximately two years to complete. Interior finishes will then take another year, with the museum scheduled to open in 2021.

"We’ve been working on the exhibitions, the design of the exhibits that will be here, the content that goes into those exhibits," Henry said. "We have the funds in place now to finish the cultural center. So the cultural center is going to be completed, and we will open in the spring of 2021."

It is estimated that it will cost $65 million to complete the project. The City of Oklahoma City has agreed to contribute $9 million, the state will contribute $25 million in bond proceeds and the AICCM Foundation will contribute the final $31 million through private donations.

"I think people don’t realize how rich and how diverse our cultures are in Oklahoma, and this is a perfect way to showcase that for the rest of the world," Henry said.

The museum will be operated by the AICCM Foundation.

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