Thursday, January 10, 2013

National Center for Civil and Human Rights to start construction soon

Posted By on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Center near Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola expected to be fundamentally complete in March 2014
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.

Last month, Saporta Report described the layout for the Center's exhibits, saying that:

The new design of the Center will be a bit smaller than originally envisioned so the attraction could open debt free. The revised design now has exhibits on three levels.

The ground level will face Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, and it will be accessible for special events. On that level, there will be a rotating collection of the papers of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. that is permanently housed on the campus of Morehouse College.

The second level of the Center will include the main entrance to the Center, which will face Centennial Olympic Park. On that level, there will be several exhibits featuring the civil rights movement, starting chronologically with the period just before the Brown versus Board of Education ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The third level will focus on human rights - and it will feature current day challenges that exist throughout the world.

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.

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