Plans for the $750,000 (GBP468,750) renovation of Elvis Presley's birthplace are running according to plan.

The ELVIS PRESLEY MEMORIAL FOUNDATION is overhauling a small house in Tupelo, Mississippi, where it is believed the BLUE SUEDE SHOES rocker was born on 8 January (35).

Foundation director DICK GUYTON promises, "We will be finished with everything by the ninth of August. We have to be finished because we're expecting to have tour groups that day for our FAN APPRECIATION DAY."

The construction is the second phase of a renovation expected to cost between $1.5 million (GBP937,500) and $2 million (GBP1.25 million), which has been funded by the TUPELO CONVENTION AND VISITORS' BUREAU, private donations by Elvis fans, corporate donations and other sources.

HENRY DODGE, chairman of the foundation, adds, "Everything we do here centres on the life of Elvis, from when he was born in 1935 to when his family left for Memphis in 1948."

Last year (02), the foundation placed a bronze statue of a 13-year-old Elvis on the grounds of the house and completed an extensive renovation of the gift shop.

25/07/2003 17:02