A lasting monument to local veterans is on its way to completion in May.
The Wilson County Veterans Park construction is still on target for a Memorial Day opening, said Veterans Service Officer Bernie Ash. The park, which will cost about $500,000 to complete, is planned as the site for the annual county Memorial Day ceremony.
“Plan A is to have the ceremony at the park,” said County Mayor Randall Hutto. “Plan B will have the ceremony at the normal location, in front of the courthouse.”
So far, the fundraising has gone well for the Veterans Park, said Ash.
He said many people and businesses have contributed to the cause, including local masonry contractor Chip Vanatta, who donated his services to complete all of the masonry work at no charge.
Ash said Wilson Bank & Trust donated $25,000, Kenwal Steel added $10,000 and Lochinvar contributed $5,000.
There has been about $750,000 raised thus far, and Ash said he hopes the excess after the completion of the park can complete the new location of the Veterans Service Offices.
“The project is coming together good at this time,” Hutto said. “We’re looking for anyone who wants to be involved, whether it’s buying a brick or becoming a corporate sponsor.
“We want to get the veterans names on the wall, and we think it’s going to be a beautiful park.”
Hutto said lead architect Mike Manous and construction manager Steve Robinson have each done a great job with the project.
According to Ash, bricks are still available for anyone to purchase, as well as t-shirts. They are also hoping for more corporate sponsors. He said upon completion of the park and office building, the final phase will be the Veterans Museum.
“It’s going to take about $500,000 to build the museum, so any donations will help,” Ash said.
Anyone interested in seeing the progress of the park can find photos by visiting the Veterans Service Office website via the county website, wilsoncountytn.com. Anyone with questions can contact Ash at the Veterans Service Office by calling 615-444-2460.