Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Piana Appointed to Statue Committee

Lisa Piana, Executive Director of the Franklin Downtown Partnership, has been appointed to the committee tasked with design and construction of a park and Horace Mann statue at the corner of Emmons and West Central streets. 

Here is the story by Matt Tota of the Milford Daily News

Franklin committee to oversee statue work
FRANKLIN — The Town Council has named seven residents to serve on a committee to oversee the building of a sculpture and small park on the corner of Emmons Street. 
Town Clerk Debbie Pellegri, Charles Oteri, state Rep. Jeffrey Roy, Historical Commission member Mary Olsson, Lisa Piana, council member Robert Dellorco and council member Tom Mercer will together draft the plans for a sculpture depicting Horace Mann, an education reformer born on a small farm in Franklin in 1796. 
The statue and humble park surrounding it were decided on during the negotiations last year to sell the town-owned property at 150 Emmons St. When Franklin developer Roger Calarese purchased the property in January, he agreed to grant the town a roughly 1,000 square-foot easement at the front of the parcel. 
Roy, D-Franklin, hopes to secure state funds for the project. He pushed forward an amendment to the House budget granting the town $50,000 for a “Horace Mann Park." 
The amendment will be among the items reviewed by a Legislature conference committee tasked with working out the differences between the Senate budget passed last week and the version passed by the House in April. 
Roy’s office has reached out to Concord artist Bob Shure - designer of the Benjamin Franklin statue at the town's library - to see how much a similar-size sculpture would cost. 
Mann is often revered as “The Father of American Education." In 1837, he was elected secretary of the state’s Board of Education, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society. He would later help establish the first normal public schools in the United States, in Bridgewater and Lexington. 
Matt Tota can be reached at 508-634-7521 or mtota@wickedlocal.com.