The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis has started the public phase of its campaign to raise $40 million for a major renovation of the old Lorraine Motel, the site of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in 1968.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam joined museum officials at a news conference Tuesday announcing the campaign. Haslam said the state is giving $2.5 million from this year's state budget to the renovation, adding to the $2.5 million given by the state last year.
The museum already has raised $21 million, which includes the $5 million total state contribution and gifts from corporations such as FedEx and Ford Motor Co.
Construction is expected to begin in late 2012, with work expected to be finished in early 2014.