Construction continues on a new veterans museum in Columbus, Ohio, Stars and Stripes reported. When completed, the $75 million facility – called the National Veterans Memorial and Museum – will measure 50,000 square feet. The site sits on a seven-acre parcel located on the banks of the Scioto River.

Work crews kicked off the project in December 2015. The grand opening is scheduled to take place in the spring or summer of 2018, according to the website for the museum.

Unlike many spaces dedicated to past and present service members, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum will include few combat-related artifacts. Instead, curators at the facility will focus on acquiring personal items belonging to on-the-ground military personnel in an effort to humanize armed conflict and its aftermath.

"This is all about people," Amy Taylor, chief operating officer for the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC), the organization tasked with developing the museum, told Stars and Stripes. "There are no big tanks or fighter planes. This is a story of people and experiences through service and after service."

So far, the museum has collected small trinkets, such a playing card one Army veteran carried during Operation Desert Storm. Its administrators hope objects like this will give attendees inside access to the lives of the men and women who serve here and overseas.

The residents of Columbus, Ohio will welcome a new veterans museum in 2018.The residents of Columbus, Ohio will welcome a new veterans museum in 2018.

In addition to exhibition areas, the structure will include classrooms and event spaces. A memorial grove lined with trees will encircle the building.

Originally, the project was more modest. Former Ohio Sen. John Glenn proposed the idea of honoring the 900,000 veterans living in the state with a riverside memorial back in 2013. Soon after the project received the green light, plans changed. CDDC signed on and assembled a 16-person veteran advisory committee, whose members realized that something more substantial was required.

"Many people were telling us they weren't really from Ohio, and we realized there was a much bigger story to tell," Army Maj. Gen. Dennis Laich, chair of the committee, told Stars and Stripes. "We realized we could have a much richer fabric if we broaden the scope of the stories."

CDDC revised the project plans, adding a museum. In September, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican, collaborated with his Democratic colleague Sen. Sherrod Brown to draft legislation that would designate the facility a national monument, Columbus Business First reported. Ultimately, the bill passed, making the museum one of only three national monuments located outside of Washington, D.C.

Veterans in the area are pleased with the progress of the project and say CDDC has done an excellent job involving local service members. The developer specifically reached out to the American Legion for help planning exhibitions.

"Nothing like this has been done. Everyone is saying, 'Wow, it's about time,'" retired Air Force Col. Tom Moe said. "We want to focus the story here about the service of veterans, whether they be from Tallahassee to Anchorage, and also be a place where vets can call a home."

So far, private donors and the state of Ohio have sourced $60 million for the museum. CDDC hopes to acquire the remaining $15 million soon.