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Airport plaza to honor WWII pilots

Madras wins grants to fund memorial at city airport


by: ILLUSTRATION BY STEELE ASSOCIATES ARCHITECTS - The city of Madras will start work on a Veterans War Memorial Plaza project adjacent to the Madras Municipal Airport this fall. The plaza will honor the U.S. Army Air Corps veterans who served at the airport during World War II.Pilots who trained at the Madras airport during World War II will be honored with their own memorial plaza, expected to under construction at the airport by September.

With a grant of $55,000 from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, as well as funding from the city and county, and other smaller grants and donations, the city will transform the vacant lot on Cherry Lane, southeast of the Madras Municipal Airport, into an attractive plaza.

The city was notified in March that its application for a 2013 Veterans and War Memorials Grant had been successful and the city would receive the $55,000 for a Veterans War Memorial Plaza.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - The memorial plaza will feature a monument topped by a model of a B-17 bomber.The plaza, designed by Steele Associates Architects, will feature a monument that incorporates the B-17 aircraft flown by U.S. Army Air Corp pilots at the airport during World War II. Veterans' names will be engraved on a plaque on the monument.

Artist Rolf Kriken will create the nearly 10-foot tall bronze obelisk monument topped by a model of a B-17 aircraft, which will be at the center of the plaza. The paver plaza will also have lighting, landscaping, a flagpole, benches, sidewalk and curb, and decorative boulders to protect the plaza.

The project has been designed to represent the shape of a B-17 aircraft, when viewed from the sky above the airport.

"This project is very unique to our community, and with these design elements, the project is one of a kind, from any other veteran memorial in our community," said Sara Puddy, assistant to the city administrator. "In fact, from the research done by staff, we believe there isn't another one like it in the state of Oregon."

Total cost of the project is estimated at $121,026. 35. According to Puddy, there is currently a funding gap of $18,000, which could affect the timeline for the project.

Construction is expected to begin in September, if funding is secured by August. The artwork construction is scheduled for October, and project completion, November. City officials plan to dedicate the memorial plaza at the 2014 Airshow of the Cascades.

"Annually, the Madras airport is visited by people from all over the state during the Airshow of the Cascades event," said Puddy. "This will provide a high level of project exposure and the ability to reach nearly 10,000 visitors annually. More than 1,500 of those visitors are veterans visiting for the air show."

For more information, or to donate, contact Puddy at Madras City Hall, at 541-475-2622.




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