Virginia will spend $41 million to build a new visitor’s center at the site of the Battle of Yorktown, where the British army surrendered to the American colonists, resulting in the end of the Revolutionary War.

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) announced Thursday that the project, which has been planned since 2007, will receive state bond funding. The funding will pay for a new 80,000 museum, which will include expanded galleries, as well as classroom space.

Lord Cornwallis surrendering to the American colonists at Yorktown in the famous 1820 John Trumbull painting, which hangs in the U.S. Capitol.

A statement from the governor’s office said the new center is designed to help the Yorktown Victory Center become the nation’s premiere Revolutionary War museum.

“Virginia is where the Revolutionary War was won and a young nation’s independence was secured,” McDonnell said in a statement. “Yorktown should be the first place tourists from all across the globe come to learn about a war that forever changed the world. The new Victory Center will go far to enhance its status as the nation’s only living-history museum dedicated to telling the entire story of the American Revolution, and will result in a significant investment in the economy of the Jamestown-Williamsburg-Yorktown Historic Triangle.”

Yorktown has hosted 5 million visitors since it was first opened as part of the celebration of the bicentennial of the founding of the country 35 years ago. State officials say about 80 percent of visitors to the site come from outside Virginia,, and they believe the museum will generate $47 million a year for the regional economy.