Workers will begin drilling holes Monday for concrete piers to support monument’s foundation
Construction starts Monday on the Triangle of Oak Lawn Project with the drilling of a dozen holes for the 42-foot concrete piers needed to support the monument’s foundation.
Dean Carter, chair of the project, said about $240,000 was raised to design and construct the column monument and a small oak tree garden. Construction should be complete by mid-July, he said.
“It’s been a really fun project, but it has not been without its bumps,” Carter said. “I guess everything that is worth something doesn’t come easy.”
Start of construction was delayed last year when engineers determined the monument would require placement of the concrete piers because of the unexpected depth of the bedrock underneath the soil. That created an additonal expense and the need for more fundraising to pay for the construction.
All of the money was raised for the design and construction costs, but more money is still needed, Carter said. Another $50,000 is needed to establish a maintenance fund for the monument, he said.
“I think this is going to be an extraordinary gift for the community,” Carter said. “But there have been challenges at every turn.”
The project, sponsored by the Oak Lawn Committee, began with a contest to select a design for the project. A design by Cheryl Baez, of Allen, was chosen by a community panel.
Baez’s design was deemed to be best interpretation of the historic nature and diversity of people and architecture of Oak Lawn.
When completed the intersection media, which is in the shape of a triangle, will feature the monument with a plaque of 100 supporters and a grove of three oak trees. The trees will represent a memorial to HIV survivors.
The contract for the monument’s consturction was awarded to Henneberger Construction Co. of Dallas. It was chosen in part because of its work on the Freedman Memorial and other public works projects.
The project has enjoyed strong support from city officials and Oak Lawn residents and businesses.
Major contributors to the project have included Ben E. Keith Co., Walgreen’s, Caven Enterprises, the Melrose Hotel, Oak Lawn United Methodist Church, the Legacy of Love Foundation, Michael Milliken and Computer Associates, the Oak Lawn Committee and the Dallas Voice.
Former City Council member Veletta Forsythe Lill, whose district included the area where the monument will stand, helped get the project going and guided coordinators through the process of getting it approvee by city officials.
Lill said the project was important because the intersection is the gateway to Oak Lawn.
For more information about the project see www.oaklawncommittee.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, March 17, 2006.