DALLAS -- For now, a large white tent sits on dusty, razed land about five miles from downtown.
Come Tuesday, more than 2,500 people are expected to show up, along with George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, to mark the beginning of work on the complex that will showcase the 43rd president's eight years in office.
On more than 20 acres on the edge of the Southern Methodist University campus, work starts this week on a Texas-style presidential complex that is expected to cost more than $300 million and will include a library, museum and policy institute.
Presidential libraries "all stand out in a very unique way in that they represent the personalities of the president they represent," said Mark Langdale, president of the George W. Bush Foundation. "President Bush wanted a building that is very low-key and approachable, that isn't all about the building, but the message on the inside."
That message, Langdale said, is represented by Freedom Hall -- a light-filled space topped with a lantern-shaped roof that will glow at night -- that will be near the entryway.
Bush "believes that freedom is a universal gift from the Almighty to everyone on the earth," Langdale said. "That's the message he wants the building to convey."
The groundbreaking ceremony for the country's 13th official presidential library begins at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.
While supporters such as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be at the event to support Bush, a group of protesters won't be far away, carrying signs and banners.
"Mr. Bush must be held accountable for wrongdoings, misdeeds and indeed for crimes against humanity," activist Hadi Jawad said.
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