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ARLINGTON, VA-Plans for the long-awaited Air Force Memorial project have taken a big step toward realization with the recent selection of Centex Construction Co. to spearhead pre-construction services for the congressionally endorsed endeavor. The Air Force Memorial Foundation is behind the development of the memorial site, which will cost an estimated $40 million to complete. Centex beat out two other local finalists, Clark/Ai Memorial Builders Inc. and Grunley-Walsh, for the job.

The memorial is to occupy a three-acre parcel at the Arlington Naval Annex. The location was decided upon after much ado about the first site proposal, which would have placed the commemorative project on two acres at Arlington Ridge, just 200 yards away form the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Netherlands Carillon Memorial. The settled upon locale–which, until just a few months ago, served as home to the Missile Defense Agency–will ultimately feature a monument of three soaring curved spires, a contemplation chamber, the Air Force Members Chamber, a seating area, walkways and room for parking.

“The competition was very competitive and all competing firms were highly qualified and capable of building the Air Force Memorial,” Foundation president Maj. Gen (Ret.) Edward Grillo notes. “At the end of the day, Centex simply had the edge in many of the evaluation areas, and their personnel certainly displayed their core values of integrity, ownership, passion, significance, teamwork and enjoyment. They were recommended as the firm of choice to the Board of Trustees.” Development of the memorial is on target to reach completion in 2006.

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