TAMPA - Today, the plot of land next to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office building in Ybor City serves as a parking lot. Next year, the site also will house two memorial parks to remember the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and sheriff's deputies who have fallen in the line of duty.
The sheriff's office on Tuesday released the designs for both parks, which will be on 20th Street between 8th and 9th avenues, adjacent to the sheriff's office headquarters. The parking lot will still be accessible and will have existing parking spaces.
The 9-11 Remembrance Park will have a World Trade Center metal beam on display that was donated to the sheriff's office two years ago. The park also will feature statues honoring those who lost their lives during the terrorist attack.
"We hope it's a remembrance and a reflection park," said Richard Swann, the sheriff's office risk management and facilities director who will oversee construction of both parks.
The 9-11 Remembrance Park will flow into and have a walkway that leads to the Fallen Heroes Remembrance Park, which will include a large statue of a sheriff's office badge and a statue of a sheriff's honor guard. A granite wall in the park will list the names of the sheriff's deputies who have died in the line of duty.
The sheriff's office has received the support of the county administrator and the board of county commissioners, the Hillsborough County Public Arts Committee and the City of Tampa, Swann said.
The arts committee donated $200,000 for the 9-11 Remembrance Park statues and the board of county commissioners approved $50,000 for the park's infrastructure, Swann said. The Fallen Heroes Remembrance Park will cost around the same and is being built with mostly private funding, he said.
Both parks should be completed in May 2014.
The hope is that both memorials will attract people who want to pay their respects and remember the fallen sheriff's deputies and the Sept. 11 victims. The parks also will tie in to the future law enforcement and local baseball museums and other historical settings in Ybor City, Swann said.
"It will be a destination that people will come to Ybor City to see," Swann said. "It's fantastic for the agency. It's fantastic for the community."