Valley High School grounds to become a plaza dedicated to district’s veterans
The area in front of Valley High School where the Ten Commandments monument once stood is about to become a plaza dedicated to community veterans.
John Tamiggi, executive director of the Allegheny Valley Habitat for Humanity, told the New Kensington-Arnold School Board on Thursday night about plans to use the site to recognize veterans who graduated from Valley High School.
Plans call for bricks with the names of veterans to be installed, flags of the five military branches, a mural and benches to allow for an outdoor teaching area to highlight the project.
The project is being paid for through a $15,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County.
A kiosk-type video unit telling stories of individual veterans is also planned.
Groundbreaking will take place May 25 with a 5K fundraiser at the Valley High School track the following day.
Valley Junior ROTC Cadet Natalie Cook said the goal is to have the project completed by Nov. 11 — Veterans Day.
The Ten Commandments monument was the source of a controversy in 2012 when a Wisconsin-based group filed suit, along with four community members, stating the monument was a violation of the intent of the U.S. Constitution’s separation of church and state clause.
The school district agreed to remove the monument in 2017 and it has since been relocated to the Mary Queen of Apostles School on Freeport Road.
The monument was originally a 1957 gift to the school district from the Fraternal Order of Eagles as part of a nationwide drive commemorating the release of the “Ten Commandments” movie.
George Guido is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.