Thursday, August 18, 2011
George W. Bush Presidential Center at SMU on schedule
The contractor is preparing the grounds for grass planting in September and tree planting in the spring.
Nine months after groundbreaking, the outer structure of the George W. Bush Presidential Center is visible as progress is made to complete the 13th presidential library in the U.S. and the first of the 21st century, as well as a museum and a policy institute.
As people drive down the newly-opened SMU Boulevard or along U.S. 75, the three blocks of what not too long ago was dirt is quickly being constructed upon.
"Seeing the dramatic progress of the building and grounds over the summer has created anticipation and excitement on campus and in the community," said Brad Cheves, vice president of development and external affairs.
While there have been many visible transformations over the summer, preparation for the upcoming seasons is also stirring.
This fall, landscaping is the primary focus.
The contractor is preparing the grounds for grass planting in September and tree planting in the spring, according to the Center's website.
The Center, which will give SMU students, faculty, and the public an opportunity to reflect on the past, learn about the present, and prepare for the future, is on schedule for opening its doors in 2013.
"It's especially exciting as SMU celebrates its centennial to see this historic facility being constructed and the Bush Institute already sponsoring programs that are bringing leaders, experts, and citizens from throughout the world to SMU," Cheves said.
The incoming freshman class, which is also the centennial class, will be the first class to have full advantage of the Center.
"I think there will be numerous opportunities for students to become involved with the individuals and programs that the Center will bring to SMU," Lori White, vice president of student affairs, said. "And, because the Center is opening in 2013, this first year class will be primed to take advantage of these opportunities."
Visitors will be able to view documents that were crucial during Bush's eight years in office. The Center will also give those a chance to reflect on the principles of the institution: freedom, responsibility, opportunity, and compassion.
There will be a "topping out construction milestone" ceremony this fall, according to the Presidential Center's website.
SMU began planning for the library in 2001.
In 2008, SMU announced it was to be the future home of the 43rd president of the United States' Presidential Center, as well as a policy institute, which is unique to a presidential library.
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