With about $19.4 million left to raise to complete its goal, the U.S. Marshals Museum board of directors signed resolutions Tuesday to move forward with construction and design.

The U.S. Marshals Museum Foundation has raised about $31.5 million in cash and pledges as of Tuesday, in addition to in-kind land donations. U.S. Marshals Museum President and CEO Patrick Weeks pointed out the amount left to raise just over a year ago was about $33 million.

Construction is expected to begin this spring with plans to open Sept. 24, 2019. Initial groundwork was done last summer.

“It’s a beautiful place to be,” Weeks said of being under $20 million left to raise.

Alice Alt, vice president of Development for the U.S. Marshals Museum, told the board that an 80-page infrastructure grant has been submitted to the National Endowment for the Humanities. The four-to-one matching grant of $750,000 has potential to raise $3 million, Alt noted.

Alt said that more grant applications are being submitted to groups in Oklahoma. A marketing contractor has been hired by the foundation to coordinate meetings with the organizations in Oklahoma.

“We’re basically at a year,” Alt said. “The time really has come. We’re at a year to open-doors date.”

Jim Dunn, president of the U.S. Marshals Museum Foundation, said that there was still a lot of money left to raise. And while some doors have closed in the fundraising process, some have opened. New market tax credits are a possibility now that the economy has improved since 2010 when these were last sought after.

“We are now at a point that we can actually attract some new market tax credit investors, assuming some rather big contingencies are met that we don’t have any control over — the allocation by the Department of Treasury, the tax credits to various entities across the nation, and their willingness to allocate some of those tax credits for this project.”

Dunn estimated that between $2 million to $5 million could be obtained in new market tax credits.

“I’ve been with the project since September 2009 and it does give me a bit of excitement to see the gap has gone from $50 million plus to $19.4 million,” Dunn said before noting that while donors have been “exceedingly generous they’ve also been exceedingly private” and have chosen not to have their contribution publicly announced.