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George W. Bush Breaks Ground on Presidential Center

February 3, 2013

Former President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura W. Bush join friends, supporters and key administration officials in groundbreaking ceremony at SMU in Dallas

Dallas – Today former President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura W. Bush broke ground at SMU on the site of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, America’s 13th presidential library complex.

As it begins construction, the Bush Center is breaking new ground: through its unique and environmentally-friendly construction and design; through the scholarly research and action initiatives of The Bush Institute; and through the innovative technology embedded in its website and planned for the state-of-the-art museum experience.

“Serving as President was the honor and privilege of a lifetime,” said former President George W. Bush. “Laura and I are eager to continue our work through The Bush Institute to spread freedom, promote educational excellence, defend markets and improve global health. This groundbreaking is an important milestone in that ongoing effort.”

More than 3,000 friends and supporters, as well as Former Vice President Cheney and Former Cabinet Secretaries Don Evans, Condoleezza Rice and Margaret Spellings, among many other dignitaries, participated in the celebration. The Bush Center includes the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the George W. Bush Institute, which launched programming in early 2010 and is focused on unleashing human potential around the world through its focus on human freedom, education reform, global health and economic growth.

“More than 150,000 people have joined as founding members of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, representing every state in the nation,” said The Honorable Mark Langdale, president of the George W. Bush Foundation. “This groundswell of support for President and Mrs. Bush honors their service to our country and signals an ongoing commitment to the work they will continue to do through The Bush Institute for years to come.”

Facts about the George W. Bush Presidential Center

  • The Bush Center will sit on a 23-acre lot on the campus of SMU in Dallas, Texas, and include the George W. Bush Library, which includes the archives and museum, and the George W. Bush Institute.
  • The 226,565 square foot building is designed to achieve LEED platinum certification, the first Presidential Library to do so.
  • A number of sustainable design elements have been incorporated into the design, including regionally-sourced materials such as Texas limestone and stained pecan interior paneling.
  • The design includes a 15-acre urban park featuring native landscaping and includes a rainwater collection system that will provide 50 percent of the irrigation needed.
  • The site will feature a Texas Rose Garden, possessing the same proportions, solar orientation, and formal organization as the White House Rose Garden.
  • The Archives for President Bush, the first President of the 21st Century, contain 80 terabytes of digital information, including 200 million e-mails.
  • There are more than 43,000 artifacts from the Bush Administration on file with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
  • The Bush Institute already has active fellows working in the areas of human freedom, education reform, global health, and economic growth.
  • The Bush Center was designed by architect Robert A.M. Stern and landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh.
  • The general contractor is Manhattan Construction Co., which also built the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas.


Visitors interested in getting a glimpse of the Bush Center are invited to visit a special exhibit at the Meadows Museum on SMU’s campus which includes key artifacts such as the bullhorn used by President Bush at Ground Zero, the baseball he used to throw an opening pitch during the 2001 World Series and the Oscar de la Renta dress worn by Mrs. Bush at the State Dinner honoring Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as well as a number of key papers from the Bush Administration. The exhibit is free and open to the public through February 6, 2011. A virtual tour of the exhibit can be found at: www.bushcenter.com.

About the George W. Bush Presidential Center:
The George W. Bush Presidential Center invites visitors to reflect on the lessons of the past, focuses attention on the problems of the present and inspires solutions for a better future. Located in Dallas on the campus of SMU, the Bush Center includes the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the action-oriented George W. Bush Institute. To view a virtual tour of the exhibit, visit www.bushcenter.com.