by Beth Kuhles, published December 16, 2009 10:17 am, ultimateconroe.com
Conroe has commissioned a bronze statue of The Texian, the centerpiece of a proposed Texas Flag Park on the Interstate 45 feeder road, as a show of good faith to attract federal dollars for highway beautification.
The Conroe City Council approved $57,000 to Craig Campobella to design the statue representing the common man that volunteered for the Texas Army.
The park, located adjacent to the Montgomery County Memorial Central Library, also would include 13 flags that flew during the Texas Revolution and touts the county as the birthplace of the Texas flag.
The casting of the statue is expected to take a year.
It is going to be a major intersection for the county and a focal point,” said Conroe Mayor Webb Melder. It will show the commitment of the city to the federal government to be able to get transportation funding for the project.(Texas) 105 and (Interstate) 45 may be the finest intersection between Houston and Dallas.”
In addition to providing funds for the Texas Flag Park and a nearby detention pond, Conroe is seeking federal funds to landscape five miles of the Interstate 45 corridor through the heart of the city from Loop 336 South to FM 3083.
Conroe has earmarked about $500,000 toward the construction of the flag park and the money could be used as matching funds for future road projects, said Lynn Spencer, senior association of
The Goodman Corp., which is aiding the city in the application process. The funding was part of $6 million from the sale of land for the expansion of Conroe Park North that is earmarked for downtown improvement and new parks in the city.
It shows that the city is committed to the project,” Spencer said.
The Texian statue will be a larger-the-life bronze carrying a Texas flag, which will stand two stories tall. Campobella describes the army soldier as rugged, strong, determined and inspirational” on his Web site.
The 13 flags include Coahuila y Tejas (1820-1830); Alamo 1824 Flag (1835-36); First Naval Flag of Texas (1836); Flag of the Alabama Red Rovers; Flag of the New Orleans Greys from the Alamo (1835); Gonzales Flag “Come and Take It” (1835); Sarah Dodson Flag (1835); Johanna Troutman Flag Liberty or Death”(1836); Dimmit’s Goliad (1836); San Jacinto Flag (1836); Lorenzo DeZavala’s Flag First Republic of Texas” (1836); Texas Second Republic Burnet Flag” (1836); and Texas Third Republic Flag The Lone Star Flag” (1839)
Montgomery County recently donated the land to Conroe for the park and the Central Library would serve as the temporary headquarters for the new monument. It’s expected to become a tourist destination, similar to the Sam Houston Statue in Huntsville.
“The hope is that this display will serve as an educational tool for the citizens of Texas, become a source of local pride and inspiration to Montgomery County and enhance heritage tourism by being a point of destination for the great number of tourists that pass through this area daily,” Assistant City Administrator Paul Virgadamo Jr. said in a memo to the city council.