City plans new home
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 18, 2000
for millennium torch
By MICHELLE J. WILSON
Jan. 17, 2000 11 PM
With this month’s completion of Phase 2 of the Troy Municipal Complex, city officials have decided to change the planned location of the Year 2000 Millennium Celebration monument.
Troy Mayor Jimmy C. Lunsford got Troy City Council’s approval to move the monument site at its meeting Jan. 11.
The nine-foot monument was planned for a site in front of city hall at the center of the Troy Municipal Complex. It will now be constructed in a mini park between Fire Station No. 1 and the Southeast Alabama Gas District, Lunsford said.
The monument, which will consist of "a perpetual gas-operated flame," will be created by Brundidge artist Ronald Godwin, he said.
"We decided to use his work because he is a local artist and has a tremendous record with these kinds of projects," Lunsford added.
He said they decided to move the monument because the original proposed site was too close to Academy Street.
"It would have appeared cluttered, and that is too busy an area." he said.
View of the monument might also have been blocked by a light post and electrical pole which could not be moved.
Lunsford and other city of Troy staff members met with the architects McKee & Associates of Montgomery to come up with a better location. They decided to install the monument between the fire station and gas district buildings and create a mini park around it.
"Aesthetically better and more accessible," he said. "It will complement the mini park area."
There will be a concrete walk. The torch will be enclosed in a brick wall to serve as a bench surrounding the monument.
The new site will offer more of a park atmosphere and also more protection for the monument, Lunsford said.
Changes have also been made in the design of the monument.
"Instead of recognizing members of the Year 2000 Committee on the monument, we will put as plaque with their names in front of city hall," Lunsford said.
"When the parking lot was paved, we realized how small the area was," he added. "We had based our decision to locate the torch there on sketches which were not drawn to scale.
"We had expected to have about 12 feet of space there instead of three."
Official unveiling of the monument will be May 6 which will be the Grand Finale Celebration of the City of Troy Year 2000 Millennium Celebration.
Organizers hope the final celebration will build on crowds already in town for the Jean Lake Arts Festival and state high school track meet at Troy State University on May 6.
The Year 2000 Celebration is intended to complement Jean Lake Day, not draw crowds from it.
Musical entertainment, an open house and a torch lighting are planned for the evening after art show vendors close their booths. These events will take place at Troy’s downtown square.