Proponents of a Clarence memorial for the victims of the Flight 3407 crash are seeking the public's help to determine its design and location.
Members of the not-for-profit Flight 3407 Memorial Committee on Monday held a forum in the auditorium at Clarence Middle School to share the committee's ideas of possible locations for what is being called a civic memorial site. Another smaller memorial is planned for the Long Street location where the plane crashed Feb. 12, killing 50 people.
"Long Street certainly doesn't make sense for accessibility purposes, and we knew that right off," said committee member Steven B. Bengart.
"That should not and will not be a civic site."
Bengart also is the town attorney, but he made it clear that he was not acting in that capacity as a member of the memorial committee. At Monday's meeting, he shared a few locations that were considered by the committee, including Sunset Park on Harris Hill Road and Wehrle Drive, where the town football fields are located. It is accessible to the public, but parking may be a problem, Bengart said.
Memorial Park at Clarence Center and Kraus roads is also accessible but currently lacks the infrastructure to support a memorial, while Town Park on Main Street is accessible and has plenty of parking, he said.
Town Hall, off Goodrich Road, is an attractive option because of the arboretum being planned for the site and its proximity to the Clarence Library, which Bengart said opens up numerous possibilities.
"It opens up the possibility of using the library itself, to have a kiosk somewhere inside, where we could have an additional informational thing where children . . . could learn about Flight 3407 . . . [and] maybe be able to click on some kind of computer-generated images and bring up photos and learn about the [victims]," he said.
James Neill, of Clarence, said he liked that option. Neill's daughter, Jennifer, was among the Flight 3407 victims.
"I came here this evening to learn," Neill said. "The committee has some excellent ideas, and I've already gotten very excited about the Town Hall part with the library access. It makes a lot of sense. There's a lot of room. There's a lot of parking, . . . and it's easily located."
The committee is working with Brian Carter, dean of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, and Joseph D'Angelo, a student at the school who is working on his master's degree.
Lori Adams, chairwoman of the Flight 3407 Memorial Committee, said the committee has already received renderings from local artists. Among them are William Jobling and Donna Loviero of Clear Light Studio in Clarence, who attended Monday's forum.
The panel will continue to accept public input until Jan. 15.e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org