Groundbreaking for WNC Veterans’ Memorial delayed

Construction of the WNC Veterans’ Memorial will not begin until February 2009 due to contractor delays, according to the memorial’s board of directors.

The memorial, part of the massive Pack Square Park renovation project, faced delays with getting the construction contract finalized. While the contract was put out to bid a year ago, it was finalized in June 2008. Right now, a stake marks the future site of the memorial.

The memorial drew controversy late last year over the proposed poetry inscription, which detractors claimed was too militaristic. The board of directors withdrew the poem and decided on a new inscription.

The full text of the Sept. 8 release announcing the construction delay is below.

— David Forbes, staff writer

Veterans’ Memorial Groundbreaking Delay

The Board of Directors of WNC Veterans’ Memorial reluctantly announce that the groundbreaking event for the Veterans’  Memorial faces another delay due to matters beyond its control. The construction contract for the memorial was let out for bid a year ago, September, 2007, as a separate part of the Asheville City/County Plaza area renovation contract. The prime contract is between the City, Pack Square Conservancy and the California contractor Valley Crest. Due to delays not occasioned by WNC Veterans’ Memorial, the prime contract was not finalized until around June 2008. Construction timetable is a function of the contractor which has notified us that it is anticipated that Veterans’ Memorial construction probably will not commence until February, 2009.

Architectural plans and funding for the Veterans’ Memorial have been finalized for more than a year, WNC Veterans’ Memorial has entered separate contracts for the bronze sculpted art works which are being produced. The Contractor has ordered granite for the memorial.

Location of the Veterans’ Memorial is to be In Asheville City/County Plaza area in front of the Courthouse and close to College Street.  The memorial will be just Inside the large fenced in area West of the parking area where the heavy construction work is underway. At the site location, there is a stake in the ground identified as “Vet Mem”. Anyone interested can view through the fence to see the site.

After more than 6 years of work under the scrutiny of Pack Square Conservancy and the Public Art Board, the individual Board of Director members of WNC Veterans’ Memorial are excited that a groundbreaking event for the memorial is in the offing even if delayed. Only several more months and the citizens of Western North Carolina can commence visiting the Veterans’ Memorial that they have so generously supported.

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