TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay History Center announced an 8,500-square-foot expansion to the museum Wednesday to introduce a new exhibit about pirate history.

Our news partners at the Tampa Bay Times report that construction will finish on 2017 and will feature a 4,300-square-foot gallery containing a 60-foot replica of a pirate ship.

The expansion is reported to cost $11 million and will be funded through a combination of private and public funding. It will take over the currently unused third story of the building.

The permanent exhibit is called "Treasure Seekers: Conquistadors, Pirates & Shipwrecks." Visitors will be able to walk through the ship and play an interactive pirate game in the exhibit theater.

TBHC President and CEO CJ Roberts told the Times that he expects the exhibit to bolster the museum's yearly attendance by 50,000 visitors.

To read the entire report from the Times: Click Here.