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Construction begins on Veteran Plaza museum

Xavier Smith • Mar 19, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Construction has started on the future Wilson County Veterans Memorial Plaza Museum and office building with road closures expected for several months.

Phoenix Commercial Builders said during construction, Cherry Street would be closed between E. Main Street and E. Gay Street. The street will be closed starting March 25 and the closure is expected to last until the end of September. The street and adjacent sidewalk will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic, according to Sheena Lyttle with Phoenix.

The museum and office caused some debate last during a Wilson County Commission meeting. Commissioners split on the appropriate way to finance the unfinished portion of the park, although several said county veterans deserve to have the museum and office completed.

“We need to truly honor our veterans,” veteran and Commissioner Terry Ashe said last year. “Many don’t have enough to make $800,000 to build this park.” Ashe said the museum could display millions of war memorabilia currently in veterans’ homes throughout the county.

The resolution would authorize capital funds for the projects up to $815,000.

Wilson County Veterans Service directorBernie Ash said the cost to build the park could be less than $815,000 once bids are finalized.

“I see a few faces that were here when we voted on that property,” Commissioner Mike Justice said during the meeting.

“It’s one of the biggest regrets I’ve had at times that we didn’t follow through with some of the things I thought we could do over there. I think this project is a good way to end this dispute over that property. I think we can right some wrongs.”

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