WWII MEMORIAL

April 15, 2002 12:00 am
Remembrance: An artists depiction shows a view of the World War II Memorial arch and pillars from the ramp. Valley Bronze will be creating the wreaths and gold-plated stars that will adorn the memorial. (www.wwiimemorial.com).
Remembrance: An artists depiction shows a view of the World War II Memorial arch and pillars from the ramp. Valley Bronze will be creating the wreaths and gold-plated stars that will adorn the memorial. (www.wwiimemorial.com).

By Ray Linker

Observer Staff Writer

JOSEPH Its the biggest single contract weve ever gotten, is the way Valley Bronze owner David Jackman described his companys involvement in the construction of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The Joseph fine arts foundry is 20 years old.

While only a minute part of the total $67.5 million project on the National Mall between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, the $1.7 million contract will certainly provide a boost to the Wallowa County economy, Jackman said.

However, he does not anticipate adding more than half a dozen workers to the existing foundry workforce of 35-40 people. Perhaps only two or three artisans will be added, Jackman said.

Instead, the work will be done over a 10- to 12-month period during the regular shift hours.

We should begin the initial production process within 30 days, Jackman said.

First, samples of the required work will be produced from drawings submitted by the major contractor and sent to Washington, D.C., for their approval.

The sample pieces will be examined by the contractor and architects to see if we have met their specifications, Jackman said.

The American Battle Monuments Commission, overseeing the project, chose a joint venture effort by two Washington firms, Tompins Builders and Grunley-Walsh Construction, as the major contractor. Valley Bronze personnel will be working with those two firms, Jackman said.

Once we gain approval of the samples from the contractors, we should be in production within 60 days, Jackman said.

He said installation of the bronze work should begin in early fall of 2003.

We will truck our work back there, and will send two or three of our workers (to) the site during the installation.

Valley Bronze will cast the 4,123 gold-plated stars that will adorn the 85-foot long Freedom Wall, 24 bronze bas-relief sculptures to be at the 148-foot wide ceremonial entrance, 112 bronze wreaths, one for each side of 56 pillars. Valley Bronze will also create giant pillars that will fly the American flag, water fountains and a large amount of decorative drainage grate.

Jackman gave much of the credit for getting the bid for the bronze work to Janelle Stewart of Stewart Springs Ltd., a Joseph drafting company.

It was a true partnership with her. She had been a construction project manager in Washington before coming here. She opened the doors for us and was the one who suggested we do a joint bid. We worked for 10 days on preparing the bid, Jackman said.

The memorial, authorized by Congress in 1994 as the only 20th-century memorial on the mall, will occupy a total of 7.3 acres at the eastern end of the existing Rainbow Pool. That pool will be rebuilt, with seating along the pool circumference for visitors.

Site preparation work at the pool began Aug. 27, 2001, with the contractor having 30 months to complete the job. Dedication of the memorial is planned for spring 2004. About 12,000 attended the groundbreaking ceremony on Veterans Day 2000.

The memorial will be constructed of granite and bronze. The different colors of granite are being quarried in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Brazil.

Friedrich St. Florian, a professor and former dean of the Rhode Island School of Design, is the design architect, working with Leo A. Daly, an international architect and engineering firm. The Daly firm is the fourth largest architecture and engineering firm in the United States.