Opposition to City's Plan To Tear Down Veterans Memorial And Rebuild

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The City of Columbus' proposal to change a portion of Downtown Columbus isn't sitting well with everyone.

The city wants to revamp the Scioto Peninsula, which includes COSI and The Franklin County Veterans Memorial. It would require tearing down Veterans Memorial.

"I like the plan of the peninsula as a whole. But as far as the veteran's portion of plan, I feel that we are diminishing the services that we can provide to veterans," says Bob Thurman. Thurman is a war veteran and board member of the Franklin County Veterans Memorial Board.

The city wants to replace Veterans Memorial with a military museum and an outdoor theatre space. But some veterans think the plan to redevelop Veterans Memorial falls short of what the community needs.

"It is a symbol of those that have come before me and those we have given the ultimate sacrifice," says Thurman.

The board says the city's plans would force the Veteran's Service Commission to be relocated.

On Friday afternoon, the board released its own plan. It said the plan was two years in the making.

"We would have a memorial area that would be integrated into a reception area," says board member Jana Maniace.

The 4,000 seat auditorium would also get renovated with a new floor and they would install a fly system which would allow for sets to be moved up and down during shows.
It would also expand the size of Veterans Memorial and expand the size of the Veteran's Service Commission

The board argues their plan captures what veterans in Central Ohio need.

"I don't want it to be just a museum to the veterans of Central Ohio, but I want it to be able to serve all veterans," says Thurman.

County commissioners ultimately have the final say on what happens next.

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