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Thursday, Dec 18, 2014
Central Tampa News

Two memorial parks approved for construction in Ybor City

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YBOR CITY — The Barrio Latino Commission has given approval to two memorial parks; one honoring victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks and the other in recognition of Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputies killed in the line of duty.

The 9-11 Remembrance Park and the Fallen Heroes Remembrance Park are slated for construction in a portion of an overflow parking lot at 1920 N. 20th St., next to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Ybor City.

An initial design presented to commission members in July was rejected. On Tuesday they accepted a revised plan.

“It’s a beautiful project. Everyone wants it to succeed,” said Elliott Wheeler, the commission’s chairman. “We’ve always wanted this... We’re just charged to make certain its done appropriately and following the guidelines. And that’s why we’re here, to make sure it happens. It’s going to be an excellent part of Ybor City.”

The commission reviews construction projects within the historical Ybor City district.

Concerns raised at the July public hearing before the commission generally focused on traffic flow and safety of pedestrians in the area.

“We took comments we received last time, incorporated them and hopefully made it a better project,” said Al Cordova, special project manager for the sheriff’s office.

The parks had been scheduled for completion in May but Cordova said that date might be pushed back to later in 2014.

The revised plan keeps traffic away from the monument areas as much as possible and eliminates some parking spaces between the parks, Cordova said.

Sidewalks were widened, he said, and weeping willow trees were eliminated from landscaping. Both parks will have crape myrtle trees.

The 9-11 Remembrance Park will feature a metal beam donated from the World Trade Center site and stainless steel statues honoring those who died during the terrorist attacks.

Fallen Heroes Remembrance Park will have a sheriff’s office badge in mosaic tiles and a statue of a sheriff’s honor guard. A blue pearl granite wall with glass panels will have names of sheriff’s deputies who died in the line of duty.

For ceremonial events 250 folding chairs can be set up.

The Hillsborough County Public Arts Committee donated $200,000 for the 9-11 park and the county commission allocated $50,000 for the park’s infrastructure. The Fallen Heroes park will cost about the same amount but will be funded largely with private donations.

The parks tie into two nearby casitas, which are slated to become the Tampa Baseball Museum and the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office History Museum.

“I just think it makes such a difference for more of the east end (of Ybor City),” said commission member Fran Costantino of the parks and planned museums. “It makes it family-friendly.”

ksteele@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7652

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