The last piece of land needed for a multi-year project to build a full-scale Noah’s Ark on an 800-acre site in Williamstown, Ky., has been purchased by a group of developers led by Answers in Genesis, the biblical apologetics ministry announced Wednesday.
Despite tough economic times, project leaders are hoping to offset costs by building the “Ark Encounter” attraction in multiple phases over many years, and opening the Ark and other supporting elements during phase one.
Answers in Genesis (AiG), which also oversees the Creation Museum in Petersburg, had previously delayed ground-breaking for the estimated $24.5 million project after funds had only reached $4.4 million.
“We have decided to stop trying to predict the U.S. economy so we will announce ground breaking/construction as soon as we are funded,” Mike Zovath, sr. vice president with Answers in Genesis, Special Projects, who is overseeing the Ark Encounter project, told The Christian Post via email.
Zovath said that while the complex design and engineering of the Ark is moving forward at a good pace, he would like to see the rate of the donations and private funding increase.
“We trust the Lord will continue to touch hearts of donors and private funding. We have seen surprising interest in lifetime memberships and we have already passed the $5 million mark in donations,” he said.
The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in 18 to 24 months from the start of the grading.
Zovath, who was in charge of building AiG’s high-tech Creation Museum, noted that “due to the rolling hills and ravines of this scenic property, about 800 acres are needed in order to get at least 160 useable acres, plus create a necessary buffer around the Ark Encounter attraction.”