Hanford Reach Center one step closer - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hanford Reach Center one step closer

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RICHLAND, Wash. -- The Hanford Reach Interpretive Center is one step closer to meeting its financial goals and could potentially break ground later this year.

Tuesday afternoon Governor Gregoire signed the operating budget and in that budget $500,000 was given to the center. The money will go towards building the facility and educational exhibits at a site on Columbia Point. Once constructed, the Reach will focus on the human history of the Mid-Columbia Basin from the ice-age floods to the atomic age. The center's CEO says its great to know that state legislators and the governor are backing up the project.

"They really believe in this project that it's important and they are willing to invest in. It's an important project for the economic viability for the Tri-Cities as well. It'll bring jobs, it'll bring tourist dollars. So we are very happy the state agrees with us and is willing to give us additional support," said Kimberly Camp, Reach's CEO.

Camp says next step is to meet with Richland and Kennewick city councils. From there they'll present the final draft of the master plan.

The center needs a little over $40-million to break ground, currently they have $27-million.