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June 5, 2007

Minority-owned Firm to build MLK memorial

WTVY
WASHINGTON (AP) - The head of a minority-owned engineering firm will oversee construction of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial on the National Mall.
Deryl McKissack, president of the Washington-based firm McKissack & McKissack, will lead a joint venture design-build team for the project, the memorial foundation announced Tuesday. The venture also includes Turner Construction Co., Gilford Corp. and Tompkins Builders Inc. 'As we work to refine and construct the memorial, we will be reminded of the ideals of hope, democracy, love and peace for which Dr. King stood,' McKissack said. McKissack is the fifth generation of her family to work in architecture and construction. The family tradition began when McKissack's great-great grandfather, a slave named Moses McKissack, learned the building trade from his overseer in Tennessee before the Civil War. His grandson started the first family company in 1905. McKissack's firm recently served as the prime contractor for restoration and security improvements at the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials. McKissack and Turner are currently managing construction of the new baseball stadium for the Washington Nationals. The two firms have also completed the new Washington Convention Center and renovations of RFK Stadium and the U.S. Treasury building. Also Tuesday, the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation announced its first donations from city and state governments. Maryland is donating $500,000 to the memorial effort, funds recently approved by the General Assembly, and the city of Denver is donating $30,000 collected by citizens. The memorial foundation has raised about $79.5 million of the needed $100 million to build and maintain the memorial, which is scheduled for completion in 2008. Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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