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National Center for Civil and Human Rights to Start Construction Soon

January 10,2013

From Creative Loafing Online

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights unveiled its design and broke ground last June, but there wasn't much visible progress in the six months that followed.

A lengthy permitting process prevented construction from starting in 2012. The Atlanta Business Chronicle, however, reported last night that Holder Construction Company has filed for land development permits for 100 Allen Jr. Boulevard, the center's future site near the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola.

"This is right on the timeline we've been on since mid-last year," Doug Shipman, the center's CEO, tells CL.

Shipman mentions that some site work will start over the next few weeks. Passersby can expect to see cranes erected over the site in February as construction workers start to lay the museum's foundation. As the museum's construction progresses, Shipman expects the structural frame to be built by August, with the facility being "fundamentally complete" in March 2014. Various collections will be moved into the 42,000 square-foot building two months before its doors open to the public.

Beyond Morehouse's MLK papers, the center will also look to other local institutions such as Emory University, which has collections ranging from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's archives to the Ralph McGill papers. In addition to borrowing collections, Shipman says that they will continue to leverage "ongoing relationships" with Agnes Scott College, Spelman College, and Georgia Tech, not to mention fostering programs like CNN Dialogues."We've made a lot of progress on the details on the exhibition side," Shipman says. "We're also planning in the next few months to start a small donor campaign."

More details about a new fundraising initiative will be released sometime towards March. LaTasha Smith, the museum's communications director, says that it will be similar to the FishScales Program at the Georgia Aquarium.