LISA DUTTON / BLADE Enlarge
Ken Thompson gestured toward a pile of 80-pound bags of concrete mix and told members of the Rotary Club of Sylvania that they were looking at part of the sculpture they had commissioned.
He had brought them into one of the rooms where work will be done on a large sculpture to be known as the Centennial Arch, which this summer will be placed on city parkland at Main and Monroe streets downtown.
The arch will commemorate the 100th anniversary of Rotary International and its local club will donate the $35,000 work to the city, according to Richard Bond, president of the Sylvania group.
Mr. Bond said each club was given direction to make a contribution to their local community and the local Rotarians decided to make culture a gift to the city to be placed at River Centre Park.
Mr. Thompson, who has created many large sculptures during his career, operates the Flatlanders Sculpture Studio and Art Galleries in Blissfield, Mich.
He recently showed a model of the archway he plans to create and guided members through the studio.
The two columns of the arch will stand more than 12 feet high and be united at the top by an inverted arch which will have the cog-like edges of the Rotary symbol.
He said he often creates arches because he sees them as a portal to the future.
At the base of the work will be a shallow pond fed by water jets with the water recirculating.
The structure will stand where there are now three flag poles. The poles will be moved to another area for the small downtown park.
River Centre Park will undergo a paperwork change from it designation as a temporary city park to being permanent parkland.
Barbara Sears, president of Sylvania City Council, noted that it got its temporary designation some years ago when a number of national drug stores were bidding to purchase the land from the city.
She asked the city law department to make the designation permanent, in part to assure the Rotary Club that the site is secure for the sculpture.
The land should be ready for the installation in early May and a dedication is planned for early June.
The local club is assuming all of the expense for the sculpture and the city will be responsible for its maintenance.
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