Focus on Fostoria - May18b05

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Published on 05/18/05 in the Fostoria Focus

Veterans Chapel Committee podium plans proceed along

By LEONARD SKONECKI Focus Correspondent

Though the Veterans Memorial Chapel is complete, the chapel committee continues work on plans for a new podium for Fountain Cemetery.

The committee (Arnie Sayre, Art Allison, Ron Thompson, Rick Steve, Dennis Smith, Tom Evans, Bruce Nolan and Cliff Cockie) met with Mayor John Davoli, City Engineer Dan Thornton and Cemetery

Supervisor Felix Gonzales May 13 in the Municipal Building Conference Room.

The podium will be “decommissioned” as part of this year’s Memorial Day services. The service emblems will be removed and incorporated into the new podium. City workers will demolish the old podium this summer.

The committee is currently having blueprints for a new podium drawn up. That work is being done at no cost by Al Morse of Morse Construction in Oak Harbor.

He is doing the work as part of a project at Terra Community College. Al is a member of the Sons of AMVETS.

Even though a podium is a very simple structure, blueprints are still needed. Dan Thornton pointed out that the Wood County Building Department will have to approve the plans since there will be electrical connections. Furthermore, since the podium will have a wheelchair ramp, it will have to meet Americans With Disabilities Act regulations.

Six thousand dollars worth of bricks are already on hand. They were an “add-on” to the chapel project. The additional bricks were purchased with the new podium in mind so the brickwork on both would match.

In addition, the city electrician will handle the wiring of the podium as an in-kind contribution from the city.

The mayor announced that, though the final numbers aren’t yet in, Fostoria’s veterans posts and the Moose have raised almost the entire cost of the chapel.

Those organizations continue to contribute the proceeds of their charitable fundraising to the city. With the chapel virtually paid for, the money will now go to the podium and for redoing the sidewalk between the Doughboy statue and the new podium.

The current podium has served Fostoria well for over 40 years. It was built by volunteers in the spring of 1963.

Some of the men who worked on it were Max Fleming, Dick Stark, Clarence Fry, Carl Steinhour and Bob Cochie. They were all World War II veterans. Steinhour also served in World War I.

In the early 1990s, the podium got a facelift. New weep holes were made and some of the masonry was repaired. Cliff Cockie, Dick Stark and John Florea worked on that project.

(If anyone has more information about the podium or knows others who worked on it, please contact the Focus or call 435-3588.)