FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The U.S. Marshals Museum is set to open to the public on July 1st at 9 a.m. after more than 16 years of work on the project.

President and CEO Ben Johnson said it’s exciting to see the museum finally come to fruition.

“This shifts from being an idea to an actual operating entity, and the impact this is going to have locally, regionally on the economic spectrum, the cultural spectrum, this is going to be a world-class, cultural, historical event, location,” Johnson said.

Johnson said visitors will get to learn about more than 230 years of U.S. Marshal history, detailing the nation’s oldest law enforcement agency.

“An immersive, interactive environment where they get to really experience the life of a marshal,” Johnson said.

The museum’s permanent exhibit gallery spans more than 18,000 square feet. The exhibits start from the creation of the U.S. Marshal Service to the frontier era, events in the 20th century, and end with an interactive experience about what it’s like to be a modern marshal.

“We have training scenarios where you are a deputy marshal or a wannabe deputy marshal and you have to figure out what you need to do physically to become one,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he’s excited for Fort Smith to be home to such a unique learning experience.

“There’s not going to be any other place like it across the country and around the world,” Johnson said.