SAN DIEGO — While the historic ship collection on the waterfront is called the Maritime Museum of San Diego, there is no actual museum building.

Maritime Museum President Ray Ashley wants to change that.

“We certainly want to give the impression there is a museum there,” said Ashley.

Maritime Museum officials have put together a proposal to build a two-story museum facility that would include galleries, a theater and a café, all built over the water on an extended pier off the Embarcadero.

“It’s another educational experience to go through, where you can learn about the history of your community,” explained Ashley.

The Maritime Museum is working with Tucker Sadler Architects to create the vision.

“All the boats will be moved out about 100 feet and then a new pier will be built here with museum on top of it,” said Tucker Sadler Architects CEO Greg Mueller.

Moving the nine historic vessels would not only protect the ships from damage during extreme weather, but it would also create room for the museum.

“So when you enter in and you go into the museum, there be an amphitheater on the water and there will be fun events for people to participate in,” said Mueller.

But it’s not all smooth sailing from here, the project will cost about $28 million, and it still needs to go through environmental reviews and approvals.

The Maritime Museum has been part of San Diego for almost a century, and Ashley hopes to continue to share that rich history with the community in a new way. “they’re going to get a building for the context of all of it that is something that is an embellishment for the water that’s also something that San Diego as a community deserves,” said Ashley.

The environmental review process alone could take at least a year or more. Ashley says if they get all the approvals construction would take about a year.