Students approve plan for a Peace Park


This is an artist’s rendition of the proposed Peace Park.

Ryan Spoehr, News editor

The proposed social area deemed the “Peace Park” has been officially integrated into future construction plans for the Truax campus. At the April 15 Student Activities Board (SAB) meeting, funding for the Peace Park was approved.

The Peace Park, originally proposed in 2001, will be a 9/11 memorial. However, the plan was abandoned until recently. A peace pole was purchased with the intent of building the Peace Park after the 9/11 attacks. “Peace” is written vertically on the pole in several different languages.

The talks resurfaced last year when Spencer White, head of the volunteer center talked about a potential 9/11 memorial with Nancy Meyer of the Madison College Environmental Sustainability Alliance (MESA). A committee was then formed in November at an SAB meeting to develop plans for the park. The committee was comprised of White, Jason Wiedenhoeft, advisor of the volunteer center, and Bob Corbett, architecture instructor at the college.

The Facilities Master Plan, includes a quad space at the berm (an elevated section of land) located adjacent to the Wright Street entrance to the student parking lot. The new Peace Park will be located at this quad space.

The overall budget for the Peace Park is $62,700. Fifty percent of the budget will be raised by pledges from Madison Area Technical College student organizations and clubs. Construction will not be started until $5,000 is raised.

Corbett used his 25 years of architecture experience to draft an idea for the Peace Park. His design includes a globe surrounded by large objects representing the seven continents throughout the world.

“People walk in there and kind of look at the globe and maybe folks all of the sudden turn around and actually look at the globe and realize everyone’s in the world together,” Corbett said. “People can find it as a quiet, contemplative space. It’s kind of nice to think we’re kind of all in this together.”

The park is intended to be a community space, not just one for students. This will further exemplify that the space is meant to be about solidarity and cohesiveness between people.

“Everybody on this earth is a human – is just that, human. So we have something that we share,” Wiedenhoeft said. “We all have that connection.”

The Peace Park is meant to show that there is fluidity and a connection throughout the entire world, according to Wiedenhoeft.

“We have international students, we have students on F-1 visas and we have students who study abroad,” Wiedenhoeft said. “Also, the city of Madison for the most part is an open, progressive environment and has fostered a lot of cultural diversity.”

Even with the human element, there is still the issue of finances. Sixty-two thousand dollars is a considerable amount of money for a park to be built. However, it is difficult putting a price on providing an outdoor art and park space, Corbett said.

“It might be nice to build something that is used as a space for students,” Corbett said. “I don’t know how you put a price on that.”

Students chose the name of the park in a survey on the college’s website this past March. The choices were Peace Park, Peace Garden, Memorial Garden and other. Construction is projected to start before September 11. Over the summer, White and Jeffrey Herwig, will be on a committee to oversee the project.

Peace Park Budget

6” Pervious concrete slab on grade $20,000
7 concrete foundations  $6,300
5 foot high by 16’ wide berm $5,000
Trees and native prairie plants  $14,000
7 continents approx 8’-14’ tall  $8,000
Globe $3,000
Contingency $9,400

Total  $62,700