Penn Hills police and veterans memorials to move to new municipal complex
No memorial will be left behind when Penn Hills moves out of its municipal building and into new digs being built along Duff Road.
At the urging of family members of slain Penn Hills police officers, the statue of a patrolman kneeling at a grave in front of the municipal building on Frankstown Road will be moved, along with a monument there honoring veterans.
Officials had planned to leave both memorials where they are and then build a park around them once the old building was torn down. This week they agreed to change the plan and move them to the administrative office section of the new complex.
“In the best of all worlds, we would have liked to have it on the police side, but we're happy,” said Joanne Alexander, daughter of slain police Sgt. William Schrott. “We're very appreciative of the mayor and council to work with us to find a solution that was favorable to everyone.”
Schrott and Officer Bartley Connolly Jr. were killed while on duty in 1972. Family members of Officer Michael Crawshaw, who died on duty in 2009, were also strongly behind the push to move the memorials to a more prominent place.
“It's going to be a beautiful monument,” Councilman John Petrucci said. “It'll be more seen down there than it is on Frankstown.”
Contractors have volunteered to move the memorial once the $12.3 million municipal complex is complete in June. The complex will house municipal staff, police and EMS and will include a firefighter training area.
For now, the next step is to have project contractors draw up plans for the monument's new home for council approval.
Officials did not immediately know what would become of the $250,000 grant being sought to build what was to be called Penn Hills Town Square Memorial at the old municipal site. It also isn't clear whether the area would still be developed into a park with walking paths and a pavilion.
“It's too soon to tell,” Petrucci said. “It'll come up again as to what will happen to the old site.”