Holiday comment period for Kitsap 9/11 Memorial redesign

A bird
A bird's eye view of the a redesigned Kitsap 9/11 Memorial planned for Bremerton's Evergreen Rotary Park. Plans are on review at the Norm Dicks Government Center through the New Year.
— image credit: Rice Fergus Miller

The Kitsap 9/11 Memorial Committee still hopes to have the 9/11 memorial in place by Sept. 11, 2012 in Bremerton’s Evergreen Park.

“There’s something about having a date out there that’s powerful,” said Dave Fergus, committee member and architect with local firm Rice Fergus Miller, who has been helping with the memorial design concept.

For this year’s 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2011 attacks on the World Trade Center, the committee hosted a large ceremonial  groundbreaking event as the new design was being fostered through by Fergus and others.

Following the presentation of a new design, 75 percent smaller in scope, to the Bremerton Parks and Recreation Board last week, displays of the revamped plans will be displayed and open for public comment at city hall.

Wyn Birkenthal, parks director, Wednesday said that he expects the design display boards to be arranged for viewing in the main lobby of the Norm Dicks Government Center by Dec. 16. Comment cards will be available for community input on the new design.

He plans to keep the displays up for public comment at least through the first or second week of January.

“We’re happy with the progress and redesign,” Birkenthal said.

The redesign was mandated in an agreement between the city and the committee, after concerns about the original plan’s size and message.

Concerns raised by the parks board after viewing the new design included the committee’s ability to fund the memorial and its planned location leaves it as an island on its own in the east section of the park.

“They are concerns that aren’t concerns because that’s not going to happen,” Fergus said.

The committee doesn’t plan on getting necessary permits and begin construction until all the money is raised and in-kind donations are received, Fergus said.

Parametrix, a bremerton engineering and planning firm, plans to do all civil engineering at no cost, Fergus said.

While the public reviews their work over the holidays, the committee is developing cost estimates and working on a business plan.

For the memorial to be built in nine months, there would have to be “some major fundraising breakthroughs” on the city’s part, Birkenthal said. Currently as bare dirt, the landscape would need to be set or else the environment would not be appealing to visitors, he said.

As the city cuts staffing levels and raises taxes to reach a balanced 2012 budget, there is no money for the work to be done at the park. At one time the city had access to grant money to develop the park but was unable to to match the grants.

The memorial committee has fundraised $76,955 as of the end of November, according to Ted Fry, the committee’s treasurer.

Fergus said after the public comment period, and any redefining of the design are, the design plans will go to the Bremerton City Council for adoption in mid-January.

After the comments and the completion of construction estimates for the project are received, the committee will have met the agreement with the city, Birkenthal said.

Members of the committee say their hearts remain in the project and that when they first joined, they did not envision it being a five or 10 year project.

“The third year is coming up on this project,” said Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue Chief and committee chair Roy Lusk. “We have the initiative and drive.”


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