The money comes from the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, officials announced Thursday.
The Fox River Navaigational System Authority plans to build the center near Appleton Lock #3. The lock is located just east of Lawe St. in Appleton's industrial flats.
Plans call for the building to house an interpretive center and educational video theater to explain the history and future of the Fox River Locks system. It will also include interactive exhibits and displays. In addition, it will serve as a rest area with bathrooms for paddlers, boaters, hikers and bicyclists using the river and riverfront trails.