Student design to be selected for 9-11 memorial
“There wasn’t a lot of time to decide whether or not we wanted a piece,” said Ortt. “You have to write in a letter describing why you wanted the steel and what you intended to do with it. I told the Port Authority, who was in charge of all this, we wanted to use it as part of a memorial for first responders, fire fighters and police officers who were part of 9-11.”
Ortt wasn’t sure what to think regarding whether or not the city would be selected.
To his delight, the Port Authority contacted him six months later granted the city the piece of steel.
Currently, the piece of steel is housed at the North Tonawanda Fire Headquarters on Zimmerman Street, next to Sweeney Hose Fire House.
As a way to get the community involves, Ortt, and a committee formed of Councilwoman Nancy Donovan, North Tonawanda Schools Superintendent Greg Woytila, City Engineer Dale Marshall, a volunteer fireman, a paid fireman and a police officer chose to partner up with students from North Tonawanda High School, who were enrolled in the Academy of Architecture and Engineer, as well as art students.
Those students, under the direction of their teachers Cook, industrial design; and Davis, art, were asked to created a design of what the memorial should look like.
“We spent about five-weeks working on these designs,” said Cook. “I started by showing them movies about the history of where memorials and monuments began. How they can start as an ideas and become abstract like the memorials in New York City and at the Pentagon.”
The designs were on display at the Carnegie Art Center, North Tonawanda for the public to vote on one of the 60 to 70 designs on display.
After the public votes are tallied, the committee will choose the top few selected designs.
Those students will then be interviewed and given the chance to explain their design in detail.
The committee will then choose one winner.
Honored to have a memorial of Sept. 11, 2001 being built in their city, which will contain a portion of the twin towers, the Fire Headquarters has offered to donate $1,500 to $2,000 toward funding for the memorial.
Ortt noted funds have not been secured at this time, but they have been looked into while this contest has been conducted.
Donations of monetary value, and services of labor and materials are welcomed by the city.
“We have received a great deal of response from the community,” said Ortt. “I wanted to involved the community and tie in the youth with 9-11. So many years for now, that students will be able to show their grandparents what they were a part of creating.”