Minority-owned Firm to Build MLK Memorial

WASHINGTON (AP) - The head of a minority-owned engineering firm will oversee construction of the Martin Luther King memorial on the National Mall.

Deryl McKissack, president of the Washington-based firm McKissack and McKissack, will lead a joint venture design-build team for the project.

The memorial foundation said today that the venture also includes Turner Construction, Gilford Corporation and Tompkins Builders.

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 US Treasury building.

Also Tuesday, the King memorial project foundation announced its first donations from city and state governments. Maryland is donating 500,000 dollars to the memorial effort, and Denver is donating 30,000 collected by citizens.

The memorial foundation has raised almost 80 million of the needed 100 million dollars to build and maintain the memorial, which is scheduled for completion in 2008.

On the Net:
Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation: www.mlkmemorial.org/

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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