Friday, December 5, 2008
Honor Roll Committee refines plans
The Honor Roll Committee, having received substantial feedback at its November 6 public forum, has been working with designers Levi & Wong to incorporate the responses into a final design for a new veterans memorial on the Town Common. At the public forum, three designs were presented, and according to member Alan Cameron, “We are at the stage where we’ve merged the best into what we think is a good design.” He says the committee is still on track to finish by Memorial Day 2009.
The proposed memorial would be located on the low part of the Common at the foot of School Street. The design offers a short pathway off School Street to a low granite platform that provides a gathering place for visitors. The memorial itself consists of a two-foot-high granite wall backed into the hillside, and extending along the hill to act as a retaining wall. Bronze plaques containing the names slant back from the top of the wall. A sketch provided shows new shrubs and plantings softening the edges of the wall. The plan also includes grading the area around the flag pole so that “the Minutemen don’t roll down the hill” on Memorial Day.
Plan being circulated for comments
According to Cameron, the committee is currently circulating the plan and incorporating comments from the First Religious Society, the Historical Commission and other interested parties. He notes there are many details to be worked out, including the design of the plaques themselves. Criteria for inclusion are still being discussed, as well as what sayings or mottoes to include. Should those who served in times of peace be included? “The more you think about it the more complicated it gets,” says Cameron. In addition, the committee has learned that it can be difficult to add names to a bronze memorial as the new bronze will not exactly match.
Cost is also a significant factor. Town Meeting approved about $100,000, of which $15,000 was spent on the design, leaving about $80,000 to $85,000, not a large budget for a granite and bronze memorial. But Cameron says “We’re going to be able to do it.” The DPW is being asked to do the site work, and old granite is being scrounged from various places around town, including an old foundation on town-owned land and some blocks found behind Ferns.
Pathways scaled back
Pathways that appeared on an earlier version of the plan have been put aside, and a Town Common Circulation Committee, of which Cameron is also a member, will decide what pathways are needed.
Several additional public meetings of the Honor Roll Committee are scheduled for upcoming Thursdays. It has not been determined if another public presentation will be organized, but when the design is complete, a final version will appear in the Mosquito. The committee will be working quickly in order to reach the Memorial Day target. The order for the bronze must be submitted by the end of January. ∆
© 2008 The