City leaders joined donors as they broke ground for the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum this morning (Tuesday, Oct. 10). The new building that will open in the summer of 2019  across the DART tracks from the current Dallas Holocaust Museum Center for Education and Tolerance, at Record Street and Pacific Avenue, a block from West End Station.

Children from DISD’s Anne Frank School escorted elderly attendees, including Dallas Holocaust survivors, to their seats.

The new museum will include exhibits and provide educational material on human rights around the world, including LGBT human rights.

The groundbreaking was a multi-cultural event that included an invocation by Catholic Bishop Gregory Kelly. A Grand Prairie teacher said her students that visit the museum leave with more respect for one another.

Mayor Mike Rawlings said the museum and its staff “help us through challenging racial issues.” Recently, he appointed Mary Pat Higgins to a committee to help decide the fate of Confederate monuments and school, street and other names around the city.

Higgins said the new world class facility will open in the summer of 2019. The Dallas museum is one of 21 holocaust museums around the world.

“Education is at the heart of what we do,” Higgins said.

The new 51,000-square-foot facility will allow the museum to double the number of students that attend. In addition to the $61 million raised to build the new building, the museum is currently raising an additional $10 million to provide scholarships to help schools bring children to the museum and provide educational material to schools.

The museum was founded by a small group of Holocaust survivors in 1977 in the basement of the Jewish Community Center on Northaven Road in North Dallas. About 12 years ago, it moved to a building in the West End next to the Sixth Floor Museum.

— David Taffet