Ground Breaks on $300M George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas

Designed by celebrated architect Robert A.M. Stern, the Bush Center will mark the country's 13th presidential complex.

November 17, 2010
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

The George W. Bush Presidential Center takes a step closer toward realization now that ground has broken on the approximately 226,560-square-foot facility. With a price tag of $300 million, the development will occupy 23 acres at the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas.

Designed by celebrated architect Robert A.M. Stern, the Bush Center will mark the country’s 13th presidential complex. The three-story structure will occupy 23 acres at SMU and encompass both the George W. Bush Institute and the George W. Bush Library, which will occupy a respective 116,990 and 109,570 square feet. Currently temporarily located in Lewisville, the library is home to the presidential archives, and upon completion of the new SMU structure, it will also include a museum.

The George W. Bush Foundation, the sole source of the project’s financing, will share space with the Bush Institute, and the former President and First Lady will have dedicated space at the facility as well. The Bush Center complex will also feature a 15-acre urban park with a rainwater collection system that will supply 50 percent of the irrigation required to sustain the landscaping. The property will be green through and through, as it is designed to meet qualifications for the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum certification, a top designation not held by any of the other 12 presidential libraries.

Manhattan Construction Co. is onboard the project as general contractor and is scheduled to wrap up construction of the Bush Center in 2013. The former President Bush’s complex will sit approximately 200 miles north of his father’s 300,000-square-foot presidential complex, the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University in College Station. Manhattan Construction served as general contractor for the latter project, too, completing construction in 1997.