Nederland Veterans Park on cue for fall dedication

Published 4:06 pm Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction next week

NEDERLAND — The empty lot adjacent to Nederland City Hall on North 12th Street won’t be a narrow patch of grass much longer.

Construction of the future Nederland Veterans Park — a much-anticipated tribute to the military contribution of Nederland residents, complemented by a history project underway at the Marion & Ed Hughes Public Library — will begin next week, putting the city in sight of its target dedication date for Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

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Ned75logoThe City of Nederland will host a groundbreaking ceremony Monday morning to commemorate construction. Angela Fanette, Nederland Parks and Recreation director, said City Council members and the city’s Parks and Veterans Park advisory boards will be on hand Monday morning to discuss the future plans for the park and the Veterans History Project.

“The park is going to take off that day, with completion scheduled by the end of October,” Fanette said Wednesday. “We’ll be exactly where we need to be for our first Veterans Day in the park this November when we have our dedication and grand opening.”

Nederland City Council awarded the park contract to L&L General Contractors — a Beaumont-based company with a strong reputation in the city through previous work with the Nederland Independent School District — who has promised a 75-day turnaround from start to finish.

“Monday is going to be an exciting day for the city and an exciting day for the Parks and Recreation Department,” Fanette said. “This will be the first park I’ve had the privilege of planning and implementing (since Fanette was hired as director in 2006), and to have it be a veterans’ park makes it that much more special.

“I’m really looking forward to our residents learning more about the Veterans History Project over at the library, because they’ve already started with the research and putting together this data on Nederland veterans in a way for it to be seen and shared. It’s a tremendous amount of work — which is why their project lines up with the different phases of park completion.”

Victoria Klehn, director of library services, said the first phase of the Veterans History Project is compiling information — including photographs, copies of service records, letters, diaries, videos and audio recordings — on Nederland veterans from the American Revolution through present day.

The second phase of the project will be packaging that information in a technology-friendly, format that enables viewers to search through individual “profiles” prepared for each veteran in the database, Klehn said.

Nederland City Manager Chris Duque said the goal for the Veterans History Project is to install a kiosk during a later phase in the park design for visitors to search through the database at Nederland Veterans Park.

L&L General Contractors will install all the underground electrical work for the future kiosk during this construction phase, Duque said.

“It all lines up so well, because we’re working for the same goal of honoring our community and our residents — past and present — who have served us,” Fanette said. “And because the park and the Veterans History project are being implemented in different phases, our tribute can grow and adapt over time to meet the needs of our residents.”

The Nederland Veterans Park groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at the future site of the park in the lot adjacent to City Hall, 207 North 12th St. in Nederland.

Twitter: @crhenderson90