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“Lighting The Path,” a bronze sculpture depicting Ida Freeman, is being purchased by the Edmond Parks Foundation and Edmond Visual Arts Commission for $83,500. This is a model of the sculpture. The artwork will be placed on the University of Central Oklahoma campus. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

“Lighting The Path,” a bronze sculpture depicting Ida Freeman, is being purchased by the Edmond Parks Foundation and Edmond Visual Arts Commission for $83,500. This is a model of the sculpture. The artwork will be placed on the University of Central Oklahoma campus. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

New artwork

The Edmond Parks Foundation and Edmond Visual Arts Commission will purchase an $83,500 bronze sculpture depicting Ida Freeman, who started teaching in 1898 in a log schoolhouse near Wellston. An Edmond elementary school was named for her 65 years ago.

Freeman came to Edmond in 1915 and retired in 1941. The piece will be created by artist Mary Lou Gresham and placed somewhere on the University of Central Oklahoma campus.

City council members gave a vote of approval this week to buy the statue, which will depict Ida Freeman reading to a boy and girl. The parks foundation will pay $53,500 toward the cost of the piece called "Lighting The Path." The visual arts commission will pay $30,000.

The artwork is expected to be completed before the end of the year, said Assistant City Manager Steve Commons.

New restaurants

Some of the restaurants coming to Edmond:

Taco Bell, 15th Street and Interstate-35 Frontage Road; Roxy's Ice Cream Social, 1380 W Covell Road; Zaxby's, southeast corner of Medical Center Drive and Bryant Avenue; Fait Maison 152 E 5th Street; Hash Tag, 1501 N Santa Fe; Pie Five, 1380 W Covell Road; Virginia's Place Cafe, Edmond Plaza on 15th Street; All About Cha, 1380 W Covell Road; Hash Tag, 1102 E Second Street; Steve's Rib, 941 W I-35 Frontage Road; and Braum's Ice Cream, 2624 Market Street.

Street repairs

City officials are getting bids for just over $1 million worth of street repairs in three Edmond neighborhoods and on Bryant Avenue. Bids are to be opened Aug. 15.

Edmond has budgeted just over $2 million this fiscal year to repair streets determined to be in the worst condition by a pavement rating system.

The streets to be resurfaced are in Leavitt's North Park, Chowning Heights and Winding Creek housing additions. Another project is on Bryant Avenue from 15th Street to 33rd Street.

Bids also include 12 alternate projects city officials are hoping to include in this year's resurfacing work, said Harry Fenton, project engineer.

Cleaning time

Operation Clean Community, which was rained out in April, has been rescheduled for 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 30 at Cross Timbers Municipal Complex, 2004 Old Timbers Drive, sponsored by Edmond Beautiful and the city of Edmond. The service is only for Edmond solid waste residential customers. A printed or digital utility bill is required. Services available are paper document shredding by MIDCON, E-waste collection by CDR Global and tire collection. Excluded are tires with rims, tires from dealerships, salvage yards or service stations and tires from forklifts, off-road vehicles, heavy machinery, agricultural vehicles and backhoes. For more information, call 216-7770.

Talks about new North principal

The school board will hold a special meeting at 9 a.m. Monday at the Edmond North High School Media Center, 215 W Danforth Road, to consider a new North principal. Members will go into executive session, followed by a public vote.

Jason Pittenger resigned July 12 to become executive director of accreditation for the state Education Department. His last day at North was July 20. He had been principal since 2011.

New fire chief starts Tuesday

Chris Goodwin, a 24-year veteran of the Oklahoma City Fire Department, will start his duties as Edmond fire chief Tuesday. He will retire Monday as an Oklahoma City deputy fire chief.

As an Oklahoma City firefighter, Goodwin was promoted through the ranks and became district chief in 2008. In 2015, he was promoted to his current position as deputy chief of support services. His retirement will be recognized from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday in classroom A at the Oklahoma City Fire Department Training Center, 850 N Portland.

Goodwin was a member of the underwater rescue and recovery team. He was the department's safety officer in 2003-2004. He holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Oklahoma and a master of science degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. He was a teacher and coach for Edmond public schools before becoming a firefighter.

It's a fact

Ten Edmond schools have been recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence, the most of any district in the state, according to school officials.

Need answers?

Reader Lori Walle asked: "Do you know the plans for the southeast corner of 33rd and Bryant where all the dirt is? Or what's planned for any of the vacated spaces in Spring Creek on the northwest corner of 15th and Bryant? I think it's hard for people to support new shopping centers when they see so much vacant space."

Edmond Economic Development Authority Executive Director Janet Yowell answered: "The project at 33rd and Bryant is being constructed by developer Neal McGee and is called Cheyenne Plaza. It's about 25,000 square feet of space projected for retail. It will have no fast food or drive thru. As for 15th and Bryant: We don't, can't and will never tell retailers where to locate. We don't say this center must be filled before another center is constructed. Retailers go where they think they have the best chance for success. They always have demographic requirements. Then they negotiate on rent. Some landlords offer low rent and get a percentage of sales, some give tenant improvements. There are so many factors that go into a location."

Have questions about Edmond and its road construction, the hotel and conference center, traffic, new capital improvement projects or anything else? Email your questions to Edmond Exchange will find an answer.

Diana Baldwin

Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote the original stories about the... Read more ›