The government is New Brunswick has promised $50 million for a new provincial museum in Saint John’s uptown. 

Premier Brian Gallant unexpectedly announced the funding on Monday.

The province's museum outgrew its stately 1930s-era building a long time ago. There was talk of having it demolished or replaced with an entirely new structure.

Former New Brunswick Museum CEO Jane Fullerton is pleased with the relocation.

"It feels great,” she says. “The museum has always been a strong passion of mine. To know that it has a great step forward now, to be able to continue to exist for another 175 years, is fantastic."

As for this historic property, Gallant says his government is working on finding a new purpose for the building.

"We are going to be investing to ensure we are able to do the repairs necessary to continue to play a role in the future here in the city of Saint John," Gallant said.

The New Brunswick Museum is a national historic site that attracts 100,000 people annually. The new museum is expected to be state of the art, putting all components under one roof.

Exactly where it will be located is unknown.

"There is so potential that you can do with $50 million. There are still discussions on what’s going to happen with the stakeholders, but the plan is going to be a new build," says New Brunswick Museum Board chair Shannon Maryfield.

The province will seek additional funding from the federal government and private sectors.

Site work is expected to begin in the spring of 2018.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Mary Cranston.