HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Community leaders announced Friday that Huntsville’s ailing Alabama Constitution Village will undergo an extensive restoration and improvement project as part of the city’s preparation for Alabama’s Bicentennial celebration in 2019.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle called the development a “rare opportunity” to celebrate Huntsville’s importance to the state and the nation. It’s been named The Legacy Project.

“Right now we’re starting to look to the future (while) we’re building on the past,” he said.

The four-phase plan includes:

— Phase 1: exterior restoration of 15 buildings at Constitution Village, at an estimated cost of $700,000.

— Phase 2: restoration of the interior educational areas, at an estimated cost of $300,000.

— Phase 3: restoration of the exterior educational areas such as gardens, livestock pens, at an estimated cost of $500,000.

— Phase 4: construction of a new Legacy Hall with classroom and gallery space, at an estimated cost of $6.5 million.

Funding for the phase 1 exterior renovation has already been secured and is provided by Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Alabama, PPG’s Colorful Communities Grant, the City of Huntsville and a grant from the Alabama Historic Commission.

Work on exterior renovations is scheduled to begin in January 2017 and be completed later in the year. The plan is to complete phases 2 and 3 before Alabama celebrates its Bicentennial in 2019, which will also coincide with Huntsville’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of man landing on the moon.

During a press conference, community leaders like Battle stressed that improvements and additions to Alabama Constitution Village will be made with ongoing downtown development in mind.

The Village will serve as the focal point of the state’s Bicentennial celebration in the summer of 2019.

Alabama Constitution Village, managed by The EarlyWorks Family of Museums, is a reconstruction of five buildings and their outbuildings that once stood in downtown Huntsville.

The original two-story cabinet shop, whose replica in the Village is now known as Constitutional Hall, was the meeting place for the 44 delegates who organized Alabama’s entry into statehood in 1819.