Construction is expected to be completed in early August on a 750-thousand-dollar renovation of the home where "The King" Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo. The construction is the second phase of a series of improvements expected to cost anywhere from one-point-five-million to two-point-five-million-dollars.
Money has come from the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau, private donations by Elvis fans, corporate donations, profits from the Birthplace gift shop and more.
Henry Dodge, chairman of the Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation, said Elvis was born in Tupelo and lived at the home 13 years before his family left for Memphis in 1948.
Last year, the Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation placed a bronze statue of Elvis at age 13 on the home's grounds and completed an extensive renovation of the gift shop. Current construction includes a new "Story Wall" that will feature quotes and anecdotes from area residents who knew Elvis as a child.
The "Fountain of Life," a water feature currently under construction, will focus on the Tupelo years. The "Circle of Life" is a ring of stones, one for each day of Elvis' life, that will circle the two-room shotgun house where Elvis was reportedly born. The Elvis Presley Chapel also is undergoing renovations. Officials say the site gets between three-thousand-500 to four-thousand visitors per month.