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Park changes underway

By Terri Rorke
Photo Editor

The Town and Gown Committee is seeking the town’s approval to begin transforming Pembroke’s park at the corner of Third Street and Odum Road into a recreational area that promotes and preserves the town’s history.
           
The committee, with members from the town of Pembroke and UNCP, has been raising funds to make the park an attractive place for the town’s citizens and the UNCP community to interact.
           
“It is a wonderful project because it’s kind of the gateway to the town and the university. So it is kind of the piece that ties us all together. We believe it is going to be a state of the art park for everyone,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Diane O. Jones, who is the Town and Gown Committee chair.
           
The committee is still in fundraising mode because of the rise in cost of building supplies, Jones said.
           
But the committee now has about $150,000 and is seeking approval to begin phase one of construction in December or January.                        

Phase one includes wiping out the entire park and building a wrought iron fence around the premises, she said.
           
The renovated park will feature two brick walkways.
           
The first, Ancestor’s Way, will be the main thoroughfare through the park. It will include names of town founders and names of current and future town leaders.
           
The second, Veteran’s Walkway, will feature the names of service members who made the ultimate sacrifice for Pembroke families and their freedom.
           
Members of the community are still able to purchase bricks along those walkways to memorialize a loved one by inscribing their name on it. 
           
The park will also feature landscaping, a water feature, a playground area, relocated and modernized restroom facilities, additional lighting and electrical outlets and an irrigation system.
           
“It’s a wonderful project because it has brought the town of Pembroke, the Chamber of Commerce and the university together. It is a common goal that we all share now, and it has really built more positive relationships among those three entities,” Jones said.
           
The committee hopes to raise a total of $300,000 to complete the design of the project.
           
Jones said there is still a naming opportunity available for the playground equipment and for more bricks, which cost $125 for one brick and $100 for two or more bricks. The committee has raised $16,000 with brick sales so far, Jones said.
           
“The brick sales have gone pretty well. Not as well as we had hoped, but we anticipate that the brick sales will pick up once people see some activity out there after we start putting up the fencing,” Jones said.      The bricks “will be there, hopefully, forever so it is a way to get your name in history,” she said.
           
A replica of the newly designed park is located in Town Hall.
           
For more information about purchasing bricks or donating money for the park project you can call the Town of Pembroke at (910)521-0647.

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Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2006
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