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9/11 memorial considered for open space

December 12, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Officials attending a Thursday meeting about the planned open space adjacent to the University System of Maryland Hagerstown Education Center said it may contain a memorial to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a fountain or a statue.

The concept plan for the 170-foot-by-250-foot area was presented Thursday by Mahan Rykiel Associates of Baltimore, which has a $73,740 grant-funded contract with the landscape architects to design Baldwin Park.

The plan was shared and discussed with representatives of the university system, the City of Hagerstown, the Greater Hagerstown Committee and others.

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At times, the discussion of more than one hour turned into a debate about whether a fountain or a statue would be preferable and whether the property should be locked late at night.

After the meeting, Greater Hagerstown Committee officials praised the plan and how it is being developed.

"This is a wonderful project," said Art Callaham, executive director of the Greater Hagerstown Committee.

The Greater Hagerstown Committee proposed the open space plan in 2000 to complement the University System of Maryland's renovation of the Baldwin House complex on Washington Street.

Ed Lough, chairman of the Greater Hagerstown Committee's Urban Renewal Committee, said he wants the park's concept plan to be approved, with other details to be worked out at a later time.

City Engineer Rodney Tissue said he will present the concept plan to the Hagerstown City Council at its first meeting in January and ask for preliminary approval of the concept plan.

The council and university system will need to make decisions, probably in February or March, on some of the more specific issues, including whether the park should be locked, partly to prevent people from sleeping there, he said.

During the meeting, Stephen Bockmiller, the city's development planner, said the park also may be the site for a 9/11 memorial or a wall of honor of Hagerstown achievements, or both.

Mayor William M. Breichner, who was not at the meeting, said the city has been looking for an appropriate site for a memorial and the park may serve that purpose.

Thursday's meeting was a follow-up to one with some of the same officials on Aug. 28, which was aimed at getting feedback on what should be done with the property.

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