Church Hill BMA will upgrade veterans memorial rather than move it

Jeff Bobo • Oct 23, 2015 at 9:47 AM

CHURCH HILL — Instead of relocating the Jaycee’s Park Veterans Memorial, Church Hill leaders are hoping cosmetic improvements and less vegetation will make the structure more visible to the public.

Mayor Dennis Deal appointed a committee last month to study the possibility of moving the memorial to a more visible location.

Some local residents had reportedly suggested the memorial’s current location in the middle of the park’s walking trail off of North Central Avenue didn’t give the memorial the visibility it deserved.

Among the locations discussed were the Senior Center parking lot off of Main Boulevard or the small parcel across Richmond Street from the Senior Center, which would have to be purchased.

Alderman Billy Kyle Housewright told the BMA Tuesday the committee had decided that moving the memorial is not practical.

“The committee agrees that the memorial should stay at Jaycee’s Park,” Housewright told the BMA. “I don’t think we should try to move it. It would be a costly project, and it would take some considerable doing to do it without damaging it.”

Housewright added, “We have decided just to upgrade where it’s at. Open it up to the public where it’s visible from North Central (Avenue).”

Housewright reported several committee recommendations to the BMA, some of which have been completed or are in the process of being completed.

For example, some of the shrubbery which was blocking the view will be removed, and new, more aesthetically pleasing vegetation will be planted.

Several trees in the vicinity of the memorial are also to be trimmed or cut.

It was also recommended that the three flagpoles, which Housewright described as outdated, be replaced and lighting improvements be installed.

Housewright said the committee also recommended some cosmetic improvements to the memorial structure.

Also, the area covered with brick chips in front of the memorial would be replaced with a concrete pad where benches could be located.

The committee also wants the walkway from the front of the gazebo to the front of the memorial widened to make it wheelchair accessible.

Mayor Dennis Deal asked Public Works Director Brent Robison to work with the committee to get the proposed improvements completed.

“We had a brick mason correct some portions (of the memorial) that were’t in sync with the rest of the memorial,” Deal said. “When the corrections are completed, it will be completely uniform.”

Deal said removal of the trees will improve visibility of the memorial and keep it cleaner.

“It’s really going to make the memorial look better,” Deal added. “When you come up North Central, with the trees we’ve taken out, we’re going to put new lighting in there and some things like Kyle talked about. It’s really going to be an eye-catcher for the public to see, with the respect it deserves.”

Deal said he plans on compiling a book of before and after photos when the project is completed so the public can see what was upgraded.

“We hope the veterans appreciate it,” Deal said.

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