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Plans for Garrett Phillips memorial moving forward

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POTSDAM - With the one-year anniversary of the murder of Garrett J. Phillips approaching, the Potsdam Central School Board of Education’s buildings and grounds committee has approved a proposal for a memorial park in his honor at the school.

“That request was deemed complete and has been forwarded on from the buildings and grounds committee per board policy,” school board President Christopher C. Cowen said.

Approval from that committee means the creation of an ad hoc committee that will include board members Ralph L. Fuller, Wade A. Davis, James Hubbard and Mr. Cowen.

Mr. Cowen said that committee will further explore the proposal before sending it back to the full board for final approval.

He said that will include a meeting with the Phillips family to discuss the project and its funding, which is coming from money raised by the family.

Following that meeting, assuming it goes well, Mr. Cowen said the committee will then recommend the project’s approval to the full board.

“My belief is it will happen fairly quickly,” Mr. Cowen said, adding that he’s not yet sure when the meeting with Garrett’s family will take place.

Once the project is approved, Mr. Cowen said it will involve some construction, so an exact timetable for the park’s opening is not yet available.

According to the proposal submitted to the board at its Aug. 28 board meeting, the park will include two benches, a sugar maple, stepping stones, two shrubs and a large rock with a 10x13 plaque. The proposal also leaves space for additional memorials to be added as needed.

Garret was a 12-year-old student at AA Kingston Middle School when he was found murdered in his home last fall.

His family has since created a reward fund to help find information pertinent to the on-going investigations.

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