Groundbreaking ceremonies were held last week for a multi-use visitor center to be built on the grounds of the Frederick Douglass Home at 1411 W St. SE.

The center is to be constructed under a $602,400 National Park Service contract awarded to the Jonal Construction Co. of Silver Spring, Md. With about 2,137 square feet of space, it will be built partially underground on the northeast corner of the grounds. Vegetation will cover most of the grounds. Vegetation will cover most of its roof.

The center will house an information counter, exhibit area and a 50-seat audio-visual room which may be used as a community meeting room.

Its focal point will be a life-size bronze statue of Douglass by sculptor Ed Dwight of Denver, Colo. Douglas was born a slave and later became U.S. minister to Haiti as well as a well-known orator, writer, abolitionist and antislavery editor. Other memorabilia of Douglass, his family and career, will be on display at the center.

Visitors will be able to reach Douglass' home from the center by way of a staircase leading to the roadway or by strolling along a meandering path from the parking lot, then along a garden and orchard to the roadway near the side of the home.

The center, which is to be fully accessible to the handicapped, is expected to be completed in September 1981.