The Odessa City Council on Tuesday tentatively approved an agreement that will place a $30,000, 10-foot circular memorial paying tribute to Odessa victims of the August 2019 mass shooting on the University of Texas Permian Basin campus through 2051.
Under the proposed agreement, the city would maintain ownership of the memorial, a previous sticking point between council and UTPB, Odessa Arts Executive Director Randy Ham said during council’s Tuesday work session.
“In 2051, both parties will have the option to renew the agreement, or not,” Ham said. “If it has to be moved it would be up to Odessa Arts to recommend a new site and absorb the cost of moving.”
The council is expected to vote and officially approve the agreement during its April 27 meeting.
The project is a collaboration between the City of Odessa, Odessa Arts and UTPB.
Under the agreement, UTPB will construct a plaza at the corner of JBS Parkway and 42nd Street, where the memorial will be placed.
The memorial will include the names of all seven victims, and engraved quotes from their family members, Ham said previously.
UTPB plans to unveil the plaza and memorial in 2023 as part of the school’s 50th anniversary celebration, Tatum Hubbard, chief of staff–executive director of Communication and Marketing for UTPB, said recently.
The memorial piece is called Bright Stars – A Memorial and will cost $300,000, Ham said. Maryland sculptor Jim Sanborn was selected to create the piece.
The project is being paid for by private donations, of which $190,000 has already been raised.
City officials initially were looking at placing the memorial at Memorial Gardens, but changed their minds after a study concluded it would cost $700,000 to retrofit Memorial Gardens, Ham has said.
UTPB and the city would share in the maintenance of the memorial and the surrounding property, according to the joint agreement.
Officials are still working on other details, such as whether to construct new parking on the JBS Parkway or 42nd Street side, Ham and Hubbard said.
For the memorial to be installed, a cattle and horseman statue will need to be relocated to a different campus site, Hubbard said. That new location has not yet been determined.
On a separate item, the city council will hold a special virtual Hotel Occupancy Tax Workshop at 1 p.m. Thursday to listen to a presentation about the eligible uses of the local hotel tax and discuss how the city can best utilize those dollars. The meeting is open to the public.