Alachua County Commissioners will consider four finalists to design the west lawn statue

Alachua County Commissioners will consider four finalists to design the west lawn statue
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 11:46 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - In 2017, Alachua County commissioners decided to remove the confederate soldier statue from the west lawn of the county administration building.

“Some folks felt that is was a representative of history other felt that it was racially motivated so ultimately the board decided to give it back to the daughters of the confederacy” said the assistant county manager, Gina Peebles.

After nearly five years of discussion, debates, and artist calls, county commissioners decided to to honor late African American studies professor and activist, Patricia Hilliard Nunn.

“After several attempts of putting something in that space we think we’re now on the right track” said arts council chair, David Ruiz.

The Alachua County Arts Council got to work in January and have now narrowed down the 21 applicants to design the statue, to 4 that county commissioners will vote on during their May 24th meeting.

Only one of those finalists for the seventy-five thousand dollar project lives in Alachua County.

“Respect for the past, looking forward to the future” said Peebles.

Commissioners decided on a Sankofa statue because this type of art represents “Looking to your past and paying respect”.

“I feel like it will attract more people to the area, it will put a lot of smiles on people’s faces”, Daraunte Davis passes the empty slab almost every day and hopes the activists’ accomplishments are highlighted for young people to see.

“Whoever is up here they should have exactly what they did and the time period they did it” said Davis.

Hillard Nunn will have a photo and information about her contributions on the statue.

The board hopes for the statue to be completed by the end of the year.

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