National Center for Civil and Human Rights on Schedule to Break Ground Mid 2012

December 13,2011


The Atlanta-based National Center for Civil and Human Rights will roll out in phases. It marks a change in approach reflective of current economic pressures.

Center CEO Doug Shipman says the timeline is still to break ground mid next year and open the downtown Atlanta building in 2014. By that time, Shipman always imagined the Center having all the exhibitions included in the original vision. Now, his anticipation has changed.

"It would be a little bit smaller than our total vision so that we could build it over time," said Shipman. "That's the plan we're pursuing right now."

The plan is now broken into phases. Phase 1 includes an exhibition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s papers along with event and broadcast facilities. Shipman says the Center's board mulled over the move for months.

"We've constantly been defining and redefining the operating model," said Shipman. "Also, what's our fundraising picture look like? How much do we think we can raise funds over time? Of course, we've always been committed to doing this without debt."

The Center's fundraising goal is $100 million. It's raised $66 million. The organization is still fundraising while chasing another $10 million in tax credits. Shipman hopes the first phase will convince current and potential contribute to donate towards the overall goa