BURLINGTON - There will soon be three stone benches erected around the Burlington Sculpture Park after the Board of Selectmen’s unanimous approval this week.
This past March, the Board of Selectmen ratified the town’s first Sculpture Park on a modest piece of open land that sits between the Police Station and Grand View Farm on Center Street. The ratification permits a temporary 2-year stay for six sculptures, then the plan is to revisit the idea when the two years expires and possibly explore a more permanent situation.
Burlington Sculpture Park Committee Chair Jonathan Sachs recently appeared before the selectmen with the proposal for three stone benches.
“We are trying to keep the marketability of the park up, so we want to add benches so people can further enjoy the space,” Sachs stated to the board during its most recent virtual meeting. “The Sculpture Park has been very well received, but there is nowhere to sit.”
The style of benches proposed entails actual stone rocks that are “married” into the seating bench portion. Mary Cummings Park has a surplus in large stones and granite slabs that are ideal for this proposal. Sachs detailed one bench would have a back to it, and the other two benches would not.
With Mary Cummings Park providing the bench materials, Town Administrator Paul Sagarino confirmed the Department of Public Works will determine how the stones and granite will be moved from park to park, but the stones aren’t expected to be spectacularly large in size.
Sachs confirmed the plan is to put one bench in during the winter and the other two in the spring.
The issue of vandalism was raised, and Sachs informed the board it has not been an issue yet for the park, but he hopes video surveillance can be installed at some point. For the time being, having the park abutting the Police Station is a great advantage for preventing vandalism.
What happens in 2 years?
At the previous meeting when the benches were initially proposed, the selectmen were appraised of the Historical Commission’s contention that the property in question should be reclaimed by them.
Selectman Michael Runyan professed he is “leaning towards” relocating the Sculpture Park to Town Common after the 2-year usage period ends.
“The Historical Commission wants to reclaim the property, as they have many artifacts waiting to be put on display,” declared Runyan.
Sachs addressed the matter, reiterating the Sculpture Park Committee’s stance that they are open to relocating the park, if the Historical Commission has a definitive plan for the space.
“If the Historical Commission has a plan and funding to do something there, I would like them to bring it forward,” remarked Sachs. “If they are actively going ahead, then we will move the Sculpture Park after the 2-year lease expires. The benches can be easily moved along with the sculptures with the use of a front-end loader.”
The selectmen eagerly await the Historical Commission to put forth a plan for the property, once the lease expires two years from now. For now, however, the selectmen unanimously approved three stone benches for the property that is currently designated as the town’s Sculpture Park.
“We will leave the benches there for the next two years, then we will see what happens,” concluded Selectman Chair Joseph Morandi.