- Associated Press - Monday, May 26, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia Veterans Memorial is undergoing about $1 million worth of construction to repair electrical, drainage and other problems.

The oval monument at the Capitol Complex was closed on Memorial Day because of the construction. The project is expected to be completed before Veterans Day in November.

The work includes stone and bronze restoration, waterproofing, masonry and plumbing repair, and lighting replacement, Department of Administration spokesman Tony O’Leary told the Charleston Daily Mail (https://bit.ly/1olK5de ).

O’Leary said the contractor, Geiger Brothers Inc. of Jackson, Ohio, received a notice to proceed from the General Services Division on April 28. The end date for the work is Nov. 4, a week before Veterans Day.

“Veterans Day is the one day out of every year dedicated to every man or woman who has served this country in the armed forces, regardless of when or where,” Heather Miles, public affairs coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance, told the newspaper. “It’s the day the entire country comes together to say thank you. The Veterans Memorial really captures that sentiment.”

An architectural and engineering review conducted in 2013 found electrical and drainage issues, cracked paving stones and failing joints.

Designed by West Virginia sculptor P. Joseph Mullins, the memorial has four limestone monoliths surrounded by a reflecting pool. Black granite covering the inside walls is etched with the names of more than 10,000 West Virginians who have died in 20th century wars.

The outside walls feature four statues, also designed by Mullins, that represent each military branch and major war. They include a World War I Army doughboy, a World War II Navy sailor, a Korean War-era Air Force aviator and a Vietnam-era Marine.

“I think it is one of the most unique and well-designed war memorials in the nation,” Steve Canterbury, a member of the Capitol Building Commission, told the newspaper. “It was really thought through and the designer should be congratulated. It is wonderful the state is doing everything it should to make sure it is maintained as it should be. If you don’t fix these things they just get worse and worse.”

Construction of the memorial began in 1990 and was completed in 1999 at a cost of about $4 million.


Information from: Charleston Daily Mail, https://www.charlestondailymail.com

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