With the now-completed renovation project in Powell Plaza on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University, plans are set in motion to further invest in the EKU Veterans Memorial. Previously located in Powell Plaza, the new memorial will be constructed in the Carloftis Garden, providing a larger space for quiet reflection in an easily accessible location.
In recent progress of the project, landscape architects have finalized drawings of the new memorial. The final set of construction documents are now posted on EKU’s procurement website for solicitation of contractors. Construction firms are set to be selected by late February and to be awarded in mid-March. If approved by the state, EKU expects construction to begin by May 2023 with full completion by August 2023.
“We are excited to announce new developments for the Veterans Memorial as we have been working tirelessly to ensure the project represents EKU’s dedication to veterans,” said Dr. Bryan Makinen, associate vice president for facilities management and safety at EKU. “The investment is an important upgrade to the memorial that has served as a campus landmark for nearly two decades. As we begin to look for contractors for the memorial, we will continue to share the process with EKU’s community.”
The Veterans Memorial was originally dedicated in 2004 and built with the investment of generations of veterans. Like the previous location in Powell Plaza, the new Veterans Memorial will have a granite slate inscribed with the names of those who gave their lives while serving, a flag display, benches dedicated by veterans and their families, the Fallen Soldier Cross sculpture and other features representing those who serve in the nation's armed forces.
“The veteran community is an integral part of EKU,” said Barbara Kent, Army veteran and director of EKU’s office of military affairs. “We want to ensure Veterans Memorial gets the recognition it deserves in a peaceful yet highly visible location. The architect drawings bring to life what a beautiful place the memorial will be for our community to visit and reflect on the contributions and sacrifices of veterans.”
The new location of the Veterans Memorial in Carloftis Garden provides more green space and landscaping elements. Plans for the memorial also include designated parking.
Carloftis Garden is in front of Martin Hall, near the intersection of Lancaster and Park Drive. It was created in 2017 by Jon Carloftis, known as “Gardener to the Stars,” as an aesthetically pleasing introduction to the university.
EKU holds a long-standing reputation for excellence in veterans education and is committed to honoring and remembering those who serve our country in the past, present and future.