- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Officials for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and the National Park Service yesterday announced their preferred site for an educational center near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

“This is a huge day because it shows a partnership … to make this memorial into a powerful education experience for America’s youth,” said Jan Scruggs, fund founder and president.

The proposed site for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center is a triangular portion of land bordered by Henry Bacon Drive, Constitution Avenue and 23rd Street NW, northwest of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and north of the Lincoln Memorial.

The site must be approved by the National Memorial Advisory Commission, the Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission before architects can begin designing the structure.

James Cummings, the current architect of record for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, selected the site because it met several criteria — most notably, that it would not disturb visitors’ views of the Mall or disrupt the tranquility of the memorial grounds.

“If we damage the memorial, then there wasn’t a point in doing this in the first place,” Mr. Cummings said.

President Bush authorized construction of the center in November 2003. Mr. Scruggs said he hopes to break ground in three years, and estimated that the privately financed building could take 18 months to 24 months to build, at a cost of $40 million.

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