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Kennedy Institute to host ceremonial groundbreaking

Posted by Cara Bayles  April 7, 2011 12:48 PM

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On Friday, political enthusiasts will gather at Columbia Point for the groundbreaking of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate. The event will draw a roster of local politicos, including Congressman Edward Markey, Senator John Kerry, UMass president Jack Wilson, Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas Menino, as well as the institute's president, former Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts executive Peter Meade, who was appointed earlier this week to head the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

The groundbreaking is ceremonial, since construction on the 40,000 square-foot facility will not begin until late summer or early fall. At a community meeting earlier this week, Kris Kohl, the institute's design and program manager, said the project was still working through the permitting process, and that an exact timetable for construction has not yet been established.

The museum site sits adjacent to the John F. Kennedy Museum, and will include classroom space, an exhibition hall, archives, and a replica of Senator Kennedy's office in Washington D.C.

"We are designing immersive experiences, where you can take on the role of a senator for a day or an afternoon and really understand legislation and how the senate works," Kohl said during Tuesday's meeting. "We have an opportunity to work with the community and with UMass to formulate programs for all different audiences."

E-mail Cara Bayles at carabayles@gmail.com.

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