A planned memorial to military veterans and their families will be located at Tualatin Commons under a plan approved by the Tualatin City Council.
Councilors unanimously voted in favor of a concept plan at their Sept. 14 meeting that would see the memorial built right in the heart of the city just off SW Tualatin-Sherwood Road. Design and construction of the memorial would proceed once funding for the project can be secured. The move follows nearly a year’s worth of public engagement in the process, which was led by the Tualatin Parks and Recreation Department and Portland firm Shapiro-Didway Landscape Architects.
“This is the product of the stakeholder advisory committee and the robust public process,” Tualatin Parks Director Ross Hoover told the council. “Really, this is the community’s space. It’s the community’s response to how do we honor those who serve and sacrifice for us. And that’s what this represents.”
Initial planning for the project began in October 2019 and wrapped up in June, Hoover said. Nearly 1,000 local residents ultimately took part in a long series of public engagement activities. At least eight different locations were examined before three were selected as final alternatives. These included the Tualatin Commons, Browns Ferry Park and Sweek Pond.
At the end of the day, Tualatin Commons turned out to be the choice of a sizable majority of the 262 people who took part in the last three public surveys used to select a site.
“That was a really thorough process of … considering criteria that included the background information of this site,” said Rich Meuller, Tualatin Parks Planning and Development Manager.
Criteria used to select the site include City master plan goals, distance from public buildings, access to public transit, parking, access for the disabled and pedestrians and many more.
Possible sites needed to have space for up to 50 people, have quiet spaces, areas for small groups, recreational areas and adequate parking for public events.
Christen Sacco, Vice Chair of the Tualatin Parks Advisory Committee, attended every meeting over the eight-month planning process. She told councilors the Tualatin Commons site was “overwhelmingly preferred” by the community.
“We believe Tualatin Commons meets all the agreed upon needs,” Sacco said. There may be concerns about parking, but the space is not expected to see large gatherings. If the commons can handle events like the Pumpkin Regatta or Starry Night – we feel like it can handle parking for things like Memorial Day and Veterans Day.”
The project still needs funding, and work will now focus on possible sources of money for design and construction. Estimated costs will include: Design – $64,140; Construction plans and drawings – $123,482; and permits and other documents – $21,231.
The council, however, wants to be as creative as necessary to find the money needed.
“I think the merit of the project is outstanding,” Councilor Nancy Grimes said. “And I just want to say that whatever the City can provide, whatever we as a council can help to support, in addition to what is already out there, I’m all in favor of it.”