Reserve alumni plan memorial, statue
By BOB COUPLAND
WARREN – Members of the Warren Western Reserve High School Memorial Committee are working toward get a memorial statue placed next to the Harding High School facade.
Mark Clawges, a committee member and a Class of 1968 graduate, said, “Our goal is to build a lasting memorial statue to the students and faculty of Warren Western Reserve.”
What is proposed is a statue of a bronze Indian brave, with one feather placed in the center of a gold-colored brick area representing the outline of the school, surrounded by a darker brick base area with 1967 and 1990 included, which were the years of the first and last graduating classes from the school when it was a high school, he said.
The committee has been raising money for three years, and will have booth at the Italian American Festival in August, selling WWR items and shirts, including WWR Marching Band DVD.
Dennis Freet, a committee member, said the first graduating class from the school was 1967, with the school opening in September 1966. It closed as a high school in 1990 and was later used as a elementary and junior high school,
Sharleen Humes Johnson, 1967, said that in 2010 when a group of alumni got together, the idea of a memorial statue was proposed. Susan Preece Tobias, Class of 1968, and Clawges said they remembered watching the school being demolished in 2010.
Clawges said people will be able to purchase bricks for the memorial, including special bricks for 1967 and 1990 graduates, whose names will appear within the numbers of the years on the display. There will areas for athletic and academic tribute bricks.
”It will go along with the school. We will have one single feather on the statue. The new school has two feathers to symbolize the merging of the two schools, Harding and Warren Western Reserve,” Clawges said.
They estimates the statue standing on a pedestal will be between 14 and 20 feet high on the 127 feet long base.
Tobias said the statue will face west. The committee thought the location off Elm Road was ideal for visibility.
”It made no sense to place it at the old Warren Western Reserve site since there is only a field,’ Clawges said.
Clawges said the committee found a marble bench that belonged to the Class of 1968 that will be place at the memorial site.
He said they are also looking for the WWR building plaque that was located near the school auditorium and a second plaque that explained about the WWR building and naming those who built it and history of the school.
“If anyone knows where the plaques are can let us know because we would like to incorporate them into the memorial,” he said.
Clawges said he was contacted by the son of the late WWR teacher Kenneth Gabriel, who was interested in including a tribute to his father at the memorial.
”We felt our students and teachers deserve something also,” Clawges said.
Kathy Stiles Setting said, “It will be a place where Warren Western alumni have to remember their friends, teachers and the school they attended. It will bring back memories.”
Freet said many area residents graduated from the school, including Mayor Doug Franklin.
Committee meetings are held on Thursdays. For information, call Clawges at 330-393-7999 or Johnson at 724-947-3014.