August 15, 2002

At the Freeholder meeting of July 18th, as part of my Freeholder report, I informed the Board that the Home News Tribune had agreed to co-sponsor, together with the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, a design contest open to high-school students of this County from which we would select a design for the Middlesex County Memorial to Victims of Terrorism.

The Home News Tribune has agreed to publish ads informing the public about this contest and its rules. The Home News Tribune has also agreed to contact, by mail, each school district or high school. Mail notices will be sent by The Home News Tribune during the last week in August. Any high school student, who is a resident of Middlesex County, or any class in a Middlesex County high school may submit an application. Once applications are received, the County will mail application packets to each applicant. The materials, which will be included in the packets, were described to the Board at the July 18th meeting.

Contest submittals must include a scale drawing of the proposed Memorial, a paragraph explaining the meaning of the design, any verbiage to be included on the Memorial, recommended materials to be used, recommended sizes and dimensions, a return address, and proof of residency and age. These submittals should be on material no smaller that 8 ½" x 11" and no larger than 8 ½" x 17" and must be received on or before September 25, 2002.

It should be noted that estimated cost of construction will be a factor evaluated in selecting the winning application.

The winner's name will be published in The Home News Tribune on October 11th and the winner will be recognized at the Freeholder Meeting on October 17, 2002. The winner's name will also be included on the Memorial and the winner will be invited to participate at the groundbreaking and dedication ceremonies of the Memorial.

The Home News Tribune will provide two judges for the panel, which will review submittals and select the winning design. Executive Director Anna Aschkenes and Commission member Estille Goldsmith, of the Middlesex County Cultural & Heritage Commission, will also serve as judges, and I am recommending that Freeholder H. James Polos and Ralph Albanir, Director of Parks and Recreation, represent the County as the fifth and sixth judges. CME Associates has offered to develop bid specifications from the selected design and, as it will be necessary for an engineer to estimate the cost of construction of the submitted designs, I suggest that Dave Samuel serve as the seventh judge on the panel.

County staff has already received expressions of interest from high school teachers in the County. I am hopeful that many of our high school students and high school classes will submit designs. This is an exciting project and I look forward to seeing the winning submittal. I hope that construction on the Memorial will be complete in time for the second anniversary of the tragedy of September 11, 2001.