Hall of Heroes wants to move ahead with project

A project put on hold nearly four years ago by the Laurens County Veterans Hall of Heroes committee is trying to gain traction once again.

Plans were put on hold in 2014 for a monument park honoring veterans on the north side of the Historic Laurens County Courthouse after the Laurens County Council asked the committee to look for other sites for the display.

Laurens County Hall of Heroes Board Secretary King Dixon said the group is re-energized and has a new plan for the monument park.

“We feel like the time is right to come back with a new plan,” Dixon said, noting that the idea of such a space was approved by county council, but the plans met with some resistance due to the size of the monument itself.

The original plan was to mirror the Hall of Heroes Plaza in Greenwood, but that memorial sits on more land than could be offered at the Historic Courthouse. The original plans also featured monuments that were out of scale with the courthouse itself, but the new plan is scaled down in both stature and cost.

The plans presented in 2014 came with a six-figure price tag due to the size and scope of the memorial, but the new plans come in at about one-tenth the price at around $27,000.

The Hall of Heroes board held a meeting Friday to discuss the plans along with Main Street Laurens Executive Director Jonathan Irick, Laurens City Manager Gary Coleman, Laurens County Administrator Jon Caime and Laurens County Director of Public Works Rob Russian.

The county is in the early stages of plans to refurbish damaged areas of the Historic Courthouse, and Dixon and the board suggested the monument park be included in the same timeline as future renovations.

Caime urged the group to bring its ideas back to county council as early as council’s final February meeting on Feb. 23.

Dixon said he hoped the display would draw people to the Historic Square.

“It would be a great idea to have patriotic events there,” Dixon said.

The board will also be looking into bringing the Hall of Heroes plaques from the Laurens County Judicial Complex to the new Laurens County Library on the Square.

The board also voted unanimously to extend the term of Board Chairman Claude Vaughn through 2018.

 

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