Balfour Beatty Donates Construction Services to Deliver Emanuel Nine Memorial

by Balfour Beatty

July 20, 2023

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Balfour Beatty is donating its construction services to deliver the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation’s Emanuel Nine Memorial in remembrance of the nine victims and five survivors of the June 17, 2015, massacre at the historic Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church. Once complete, the memorial in Downtown Charleston will be a space of contemplation, communion and conversation, a catalyst for creating a culture where racism and violence no longer exist.

Balfour Beatty is providing general contracting services to deliver the 30,000-square-foot memorial located on the grounds of Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church with entrances directly on Calhoun Street. The project team and its industry partners will construct three thoughtfully-designed components of the memorial—The Memorial Courtyard, Survivors’ Garden and Contemplation Basin.

The 6,000-square-foot Memorial Courtyard situated on the west side of the church will feature two stone fellowship benches facing each other with an opening between that widens towards the entrance to the courtyard. The approximately 80.9-foot-long west bench and 63.9-foot-long east bench consists of approximately 11 to 13 individually structured and prefabricated marble stone blocks that feature high backs that arc up and around, like sheltering wings.

At the center of the Memorial Courtyard and encircled by the curve of the fellowship benches, a marble fountain will be carved around its edge with the names of the Emanuel Nine: Reverend Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Cynthia Graham Hurd, Susie J. Jackson, Ethel Lee Lance, Reverend DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Reverend Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Kibwe Diop Sanders, Reverend Daniel Lee Simmons, Sr. and Myra Singleton Quarles Thompson.

“It is an honor to be entrusted to deliver the Emanuel Nine Memorial with our partners at The Beach Company,” said Scott Skidelsky, Balfour Beatty president in the Southeast. “In support of the Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation, Balfour Beatty is also pleased to announce its donation of construction services as our commitment to furthering social justice efforts that condemn hate and racism within our country. As we embark on construction, our project team and industry partners are dedicated to building each of the memorial’s components with dignity and respect of the nine lives lost and survivors, and working with the families, loved ones, Mother Emanuel Church members and the Charleston community in providing a sacred place of remembrance and reflection for all.”

Towards the rear of the Memorial Courtyard, the Balfour Beatty team will also deliver the memorial’s Contemplation Basin featuring a 10.5-foot-tall cross above a marble altar to offer visitors a quiet place to linger in thought and prayer.

From the Contemplation Basin, a pathway behind the church will lead to a newly landscaped Survivors’ Garden. The 3,024-square-foot churchyard will feature a 49-foot by 34-foot lawn surrounded by six stone benches engraved with the survivors’ names. Six trees will also be planted symbolizing the five survivors and a sixth signifying that the church is also a survivor.  

The Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation Board is a Charleston community partnership with the Emanuel A.M.E. Church whose mission is to memorialize the Emanuel Nine and amplify the survivors’ and families’ response, which reversed the spread of racial hatred with a message of God’s unyielding love and forgiveness. The nonprofit organization’s goal is to build and endow the Emanuel Nine Memorial and develop social justice programs to help end hate and racism.

Balfour Beatty is partnering with its design team Handel Architects, Guy Nordenson and Associates, DesignWorks, Thomas & Hutton, S & ME, Dan Euser Water Architecture and Fisher Marantz Stone to deliver The Emanuel Nine Memorial.

Construction will begin in July with an expected opening in 2024. During active construction of the memorial, a preview of the fellowship benches has been placed on church grounds which is now open to the public.

To learn more about The Mother Emanuel Memorial Foundation and to donate, please visit