Sugar Land honors veterans with memorial dedication

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On Sept. 30, the Sugar Land Legacy Foundation and the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, along with the Sugar Land Parks and Recreation Department, dedicated the new veteran’s memorial located at Sugar Land Memorial Park. Designs for the project were donated by Powers Brown Architecture in Houston and it was constructed by Virginia-based E.E. Reed Construction.

“This project represents the first major donation developed through the city’s partnership with the Sugar Land Legacy Foundation,” said Gene Reed, president of the Sugar Land Legacy Foundation. “This memorial is an important first step in realizing the vision for ‘memorializing’ the park.”

The process leading up to the memorial dedication began in 2008 when a citizens task force was charged to identify projects that would help recognize Fort Bend County veterans at Sugar Land Memorial Park. Nearly 1.7 million veterans live throughout the U.S. and more than 25,000 veterans reside in Fort Bend County, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The first of four memorial projects identified by the task force—flags representing each branch of the U.S. Military—was presented on Memorial Day 2010. Other projects at the park include the implementation of a memorial hill and an honorary plaque. The recently dedicated veteran’s memorial broke ground in August 2013.

Design options for the veteran’s memorial were submitted earlier this year and voted on by an eight-person jury in May. Powers Brown Architecture included employees throughout the company in the design process, holding an internal competition to find the best design for the memorial.

“We decided to alter our process in keeping with the spirit of the project by getting as many of our team members involved as possible,” said Jeffrey Brown, principal with Powers Brown Architecture who also serves on the TCA board of directors.

Criteria for the design called for the incorporation of “tilt-up” construction—a method of building a structure’s walls, columns and other structural features horizontally before being raised vertically by a crane. This method has been proven to be inexpensive and easily maintained.

Nine different designs were presented by various teams through Powers Brown Architecture’s internal competition, and a design by employee Matt Stephens was selected as the winner. Inverted tilt-up panels were included in Stephen’s design plans. The memorial is meant to honor veterans through both celebratory and contemplative aspects of design, according to Powers Brown Architecture.

“The monument exhibits new and creative ideas and ways to design, engineer and construct utilizing tilt-wall methods,” Reed said.

The dedication of the veteran’s memorial is part of the Sugar Land Parks and Recreation Department’s process of establishing Memorial Trail, which is being implemented along the existing walking trail at Sugar Land Memorial Park.

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