CAMDEN, NJ-With an eye on opening the Battleship New Jersey to the public in early September, the Home Port Alliance, a nonprofit group charged with getting the Big J ready and subsequently operating it as a floating museum, has let out over $5 million in contracts. The group’s total expenditures on the project are expected to be in the $18 million range, all from public sources.

As far as the latest contracts, the alliance will pay AP Construction of Blackwood, NJ more than $3 million to do topside work on the pier being built accommodate the New Jersey, and for underground utilities for the visitor center and ship. Delta T of Runnemeade, NJ, meanwhile, will get paid just over $1.4 million for onboard work, include HVAC systems. Finally, MC Painting Corp. of Philadelphia will get $950,000 to paint the outside of the massive vessel, which is nearly 900 feet long.

The Home Port Alliance also announced that it has received $950,000 from the Camden Empowerment Zone Corp. The money will go to build a temporary visitors’ center that will stay in service until the permanent structure is erected.