After more than six months of planning and committee work, together with student, staff, parent and professional involvement and input, the Manhasset School District is formalizing plans for a 9/11 Memorial Garden. According to Kenneth Dunn, director of High School Student Activities and facilitator of committee activities, the official groundbreaking ceremony will take place on Friday, June 14 at 6 p.m. The ceremony will take place at Manhasset High School, just beyond the entrance to the school campus. Anyone driving to the ceremony is requested to enter the high school campus via Manhasset Avenue. The ceremony will begin promptly at 6 p.m. and will last approximately 30 minutes. The public is requested to arrive no later than 5:45 p.m.
"The final stage of planning -the site design - began in late March when our new District Director of Buildings and Facilities, Armand Markarian, came aboard," Mr. Dunn said. The committee's site selection, along with its ideas of the kind of memorial it envisioned, found a perfect fit with Mr. Markarian and the architect, Ward Associates. After meeting with the committee in April and early May, Ward Associates designed two memorial gardens. Plan renderings have been on display in each of the schools for student review and comment. The 9/11 Committee will make a final selection based on the feedback from the students. The selected design will be unveiled at the groundbreaking, just within the time frame that was set when formal meetings began last December. "We wanted to have the official groundbreaking during the 2001-2002 year", Mr. Dunn said. "The senior class has played an important role at each stage of the memorial site's progress and Dr. Bozzomo, Mr. Stark and I wanted them to be present for this special event."
Student effort, ideas and involvement are at the center of the memorial garden. Students selected its location and shaped its design by their ideas and opinions. The funds for the memorial garden come from the proceeds of the SCA-sponsored Homecoming Dance, which raised over $4,500 by its record-breaking attendance. Funds were raised by artwork from students in Ms. Joyce Brian's classes. Finally, the fund-raising efforts of Manhasset's "sister school" (see the May 2 Manhasset Press) Unadilla Valley Central School District, a small rural district in New Berlin, NY, complete this student-sponsored project.
Members of the 9/11 Memorial Site Committee are: Mark Cornachio, 10th grade representative; Matthew Cornachio, Middle School representative; Matt Dugan, Munsey Park staff representative; Mr. Dunn; Eileen Gaffney, Shelter Rock student representative; Semiramis Geiger, SCA High School president, Hatty Hong, 11th grade representative; Caroline Leeolou, Munsey Park student representative; Mr. Markarian, Ms. Laura Smith, Munsey Park staff representative; Ms. Laurie Spampinato, Shelter Rock parent; Mr. William Stark, High School principal; Erica Valentino, High School Student Union representative; Dorothy Vlachos, 12th grade representative; Eileen Ward, 9th grade representative; and Mr. Curt Coronato and Ms. Elizabeth Borucke, Ward Associates architects.
The dedication of the completed Memorial Garden is scheduled to take place on Homecoming Day, Saturday, October 26.