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Si View Community Center to install flag at parking plaza
Si View Community Center in North Bend is adding a large American flag in a prominent place as part of a new parking and vendor plaza being built on the site starting this month.
Si View's board of commissioners accepted a $837,000 bid on Wednesday, Aug. 26, from Construct Co. of Sumner to build phase 1 of its master plan.
Construction of the sidewalk and sewer has already begun, and parking and plaza work begins later this month. The project provides space for 96 cars, water fountains, outside benches and a lighted plaza with historic-themed lighting, electrical outlets to accomodate farmer's market vendors.
Sidewalks and pathways ensure that visitors will not have to walk behind parked cars to get to the center, as they do now.
There will still be some on-street parking at the east end of the park.
Permeable pavement will mitigate storm-water runoff. Asphalt will be stamped so that it will have a 'pathway' look and feel, according to Si View Director Travis Stombaugh. The asphalt will also create a 'heat island' to help native plants grow in the area.
Next to the Si View administration building, the parking area is being redone, and a rain garden will be installed for storm water mitigation.
Karate students taught by North Bend resident Jim Curtis, a former karate instructor at Si View, recently circulated a petition calling for a flag to be placed at the center.
The petition calls on Si View to "acquire and publicly display the American Flag for all to view, respect and enjoy."
Curtis said he wants to see a flag up at Si View by Friday, Sept. 11, in time to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
"I fought for this flag," said Curtis, a Vietnam veteran. "It's everybody's flag."
Curtis has yet to present his petition to Si View staff or board members. However, Si View Commissioner Kevin Haggerty signed Curtis' petition.
"As a member of the elected commission I am all in favor of appropriately displaying an American flag," Haggerty told the Valley Record. "The master plan includes a new flag pole.
"To be clear, I do think that when flags are hung at Si View they should be done so in a manner that respects the flag and according to protocols," he added.
City flag plans
City Administrator Duncan Wilson said North Bend is in the early stages of planning for a veteran's memorial of its own. City administration will ask the council this fall to consider the purchase of a flag pole, and possibly a plaque or other monument. No location has been identified, but possibilities include the downtown roundabout or a city park. Pros for the roundabout include high visibility, but cons there include a lack of accessibility for visitors and no ability to host ceremonies.
Also being considered is a time capsule to be placed at a future city hall. While there has been little discussion of the matter, the council would like to see North Bend school children involved. No site has been selected for a new city hall, which would be built between 3 and 10 years from now, Wilson said.