HUNTERSVILLE – A Memorial Day ribbon-cutting is planned to commemorate the opening of Veterans Park at Main & Maxwell. Michael Jaycocks, director of the town’s park and recreation department, said the project is on track for completion, and final improvements to the grounds are expected to be finished in time for the May 28 ceremonies. The time for the event will be announced soon.
The park, bordered by Main Street, Maxwell Avenue and Huntersville-Concord Road, will feature a festival lawn and performance amphitheater in addition to a monument honoring all branches of the United States military. A globe on top of a reflecting pool – honoring the far-reaching contributions of America’s military – will face individual columns paying tribute to the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine.
A long time coming
Plans for a $400,000 park and community building were outlined in the parks and recreation section of a 2012 municipal bond package. The plans expanded to include a performance area, and – through support and fundraising led by American Legion Post 321, The Sons of American Post 321 and local Rotary clubs – the vision emerged for the veterans monument as a park centerpiece.
Construction, which began on Veterans Day 2016, was delayed due an assortment of utility infrastructure issues. The development of the project eventually expanded to incorporate utility line relocations along with storm water network and road improvements associated with the town’s Main Street Upgrade transportation project. The park project’s total cost is now around $1.5 million.
Parking lot construction, through a partnership with the American Legion post, is in progress. “The agreement will provide parking for the park and improvements to the American Legion lot,” Jaycocks said. “It will also allow for sharing the parking areas when for special events at the park or the American Legion facility.”
The re-positioning of a 55-year-old railroad caboose, displayed on the site since 1998, will also be completed soon. The caboose will become the backdrop for the performance stage.