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West Valley City Journal

City Council indicates support for possible Veterans Hall next to Cultural Center

Jul 29, 2019 04:12PM ● By Travis Barton

An early rendering from EDA architects on what the Veterans Hall property could look like. (EDA architects)

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

By unanimous vote July 9, the West Valley City Council expressed its support for the construction of a Veterans Hall on city owned property just south of the Utah Cultural Celebration Center (3224 S. Cultural Center Dr.). 

The Veterans Hall Foundation, chaired by West Valley City Mayor Ron Bigelow, is raising funds to establish a Veterans Hall to commemorate the service of veterans of the armed forces and highlight their experiences. Fundraising has been ongoing for a few years. 

Passing a resolution stating the council’s support for the facility to be located in the city as well as a commitment to administer the facility was a necessary step to obtain certain grant money from Salt Lake County. 

The site in question is 5.25 acres. Tentative plans for the memorial were presented to the council by Jake Arslanian, director of facilities and construction management for West Valley City. Among the plans included in the proposal are a pond, outdoor monument, building fenced with panel walls, World War II memorial exhibit plaza, recording studio for veterans to share stories, honor wall, multipurpose room, sufficient parking, memorabilia hall and main exhibit hall. 

Arslanian pointed out there is a 25-foot elevation difference on the property. The hall itself would be built on the edge of the hill giving it more visibility. 

“We want to make sure this is a place where the public can come to show respect and love for our veterans,” Arslanian told the council. He added he wants the atmosphere to feel like the Vietnam War or Korean War memorials in Washington, D.C. where attendees feel it’s a place for quiet and serenity. 

Arslanian said they won’t know the price for the building until bids go out, but they estimate a $9.8 million price tag, which doesn’t include what the memorial would cost. He also said the estimate to run the Veterans Hall annually would be $280,000. Arslanian said that price is similar to what they run other buildings in the city. 

Bigelow said the foundation has raised approximately $1 million so far taking into account both money donated and money not yet given, but committed to the project. 

Construction would tentatively start in March 2020 and last about 18 months. 

The council’s vote was not an approval of plans or funds, but to show support for the Veterans Hall being built on this property, which is owned by the city and its redevelopment agency.