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Bush library nears completion

March 24, 2013 at 3:52 PM

DALLAS, March 24 (UPI) -- After more than two years of work, the George W. Bush presidential library, near Southern Methodist University in Dallas, is nearly done, officials say.

The library, officially dubbed the George W. Bush Presidential Institute, will feature 226,560 square feet dedicated to honoring the 43rd president's two terms in office. While the cost was not released by the foundation in charge of overseeing the design and construction, it's believed the group raised $300 million in private contributions, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star Telegram said Sunday.

The facility on 24 acres will feature a to-scale replica of the Oval Office as it appeared under Bush's tenure. There will also be a three-story complex called Freedom Hall, featuring a 64-foot steeple lit by a lantern at night. The sprawling facility, which will have its own restaurant, will be surrounded by a 15-acre park abutting the Southern Methodist campus -- Laura Bush's alma mater.

It will also house the George W. Bush Public Policy Institute.

It is set to open to invited dignitaries April 25 and to the public May 1.

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