Construction on $142M Eisenhower Memorial could start in late 2017
- The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission has its sights set on a fall groundbreaking for the $150 million tribute to the former president, despite a lack of final funding and design approval, according to Curbed DC.
- The commission must still secure $84 million in federal funds for the memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president and former U.S. Army general, as well as get the final green light on design from the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.
- If project officials can obtain the necessary approval for the Frank Gehry-designed memorial, a Congressional waiver could allow them to start construction without the necessary financing in place.
In January, the General Services Administration attempted to gauge smaller contractors' interest in building the memorial, which at the time was estimated at $142 million. Onlookers said that by limiting participation to those firms with a yearly revenue of $36.5 million or less and with minority or disadvantaged-business designations, the GSA was trying to better control costs.
Construction costs, excluding the bronze statue components of the design, were expected to be between $80 million and $90 million earlier this year. At that time, the NCPC gave its approval on some design elements.
Commission officials are trying to expedite construction so that they can dedicate the memorial on June 6, 2019, the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings of D-Day, the World War II military plan led by Eisenhower.
While some lawmakers have expressed optimism about construction moving forward at a timely pace, Congress has cut many of these types of funding initiatives. The Washington Business Journal reported in January that Congress did not include memorial construction in its appropriations bill last year and that the memorial commission was trying to raise at least $25 million elsewhere.
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