FORT SMITH, Ark. — U.S. Marshals Museum officials say the facility’s construction price in western Arkansas has dropped in half, to $16.5 million.

Museum President and CEO Patrick Weeks told his board of directors on Tuesday the lower costs come after reductions in the building’s complexity and new soil tests that decreased demands on foundation work.

The Times Record ( reports the building site was previously a landfill for debris after a 1996 tornado in the area. Project officials expected removal and replacement of “unsuitable soil.”

Little Rock-based CDI Construction Inc. is the general contractor for the museum. Weeks said the company recommended drilling to test the soil and found ways to save money.

The contractor estimated last year that the museum’s site and facility cost could reach over $33.5 million.

Information from: Southwest Times Record,