Fairborn military veterans memorial moving from city’s center, new site being built

The veterans memorial that has been in Fairborn’s center since its dedication in the 1980s is expected to get a new home.

Fairborn crews recently started removing the memorial from the island in the middle of the Main Street/Central Avenue intersection as part of upgrades there and plans for a new site to honor veterans, city officials said.

The military monument has been hit by automobiles a few times in recent years, officials said. A June 2021 crash caused significant damage, closing the intersection for several hours and causing the removal of the memorial’s flagpole.

Its future site at the Fairborn Memorial Park being built at North Central and Hebble Avenue near the city building will be more suitable and safer, Public Works Director Terry Adkins said.

“I think it’s going to change a lot of things for the better. People will be able to utilize the memorial. Where it is now, it’s nice. It’s been downtown. But it’s right in the middle of the roadway,” said Adkins, a veteran.

“People will be able to visit the memorial” with its future location, he added. “You’re not in traffic. It will be a lot safer, more user friendly. I think the layout in the park … it can be larger.”

Plans for the new memorial include a five-sided plaza with a similarly shaped monument in its center honoring the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy, according to the Fairborn Military Veterans Memorial Project’s website.

The vets memorial project will be part of the city’s new park, said Dan Kirkpatrick, a member of the group planning the monument.

The military memorial will be built in several phases, with the initial one projected to cost $150,000, he said. The goal is to have the first phase complete by Veterans Day this year.

The city last year approved $500,000 for the new park’s construction to be funded by Fairborn’s American Rescue Plan Act money, which totaled about $6.8 million.

Some of the granite and all the markers that have been part of the monument at Main and Central will be used at the new memorial, Adkins said.

“For events and different things that are going on, I just think it’s a lot better location,” he said. “It’ll be easier access. I’m looking forward to it … I think it’s going to be a good thing for us.”

Meanwhile, the city’s goal is to complete improvements in the middle of Main and Central by July 4, officials said.

Crews started tearing out the concrete and foundations last week, City Engineer Lee Harris said. This week officials hope to start work on fixing the curb and setting the foundation for the new flagpole, he said.

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