Tonawanda News — A 9/11 memorial originally slated for completion by next week’s 12-year anniversary of the fateful attacks will be delayed.
The project was designed by two North Tonawanda High School students who won a contest in June 2012. Dozens of designs were submitted with the decision rendered through a steering committee and public input after a exhibit was held at the Carnegie Art Center.
The design will utilize a 3-foot steel beam pulled from the wreckage of the Twin Towers in New York City and acquired by the city in 2011 from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
But due to a redesign of the original blueprint over the last several months and the difficulty of bringing together several contractors and architects — who are offering their services free of charge — City Engineer Dale Marshall said the municipality is now aiming to finish installing the design by November.
The memorial is planned next to the North Tonawanda Fire Department.
“It’s to the point now where it’s not going to be done for the anniversary,” Marshall said.
Part of the design changes are taking place in order to “orient the Pentagon exhibit the way it’s laid out in Washington” while a water features originally incorporated will be removed to negate some of the memorial’s upkeep costs. Large granite boulders will also be downsized as the city moves to stay within the $30,000 designated for the display, Marshall said. LED lighting with a 40,000-hour life will also be added.
While most of the design work was done by Mitchell Mistriner and Michael Carroll, both high school seniors, assistance from an outside architecture firm has also led to some delays.
“We’re waiting on the architect for the final drawing,” he said.
Construction could begin in early October, Marshall said.