Shortly after June 2013, we received a call from the homeowner’s association at Riata West. They had just witnessed a tragedy that occurred in Yarnell where 19Granite Mountain Hot Shots died while fighting a forest fire. About a year later,Serbin Studio Inc. began working on the design for the monument which essentially was what we call a pocket park, a small parcel of land within Riata West in Buckeye, Az.
The property area is about 20′ to 15′ wide (tapered site) and 100′ long. However by the time we removed driveway access areas, building setbacks, utility corridors, and other constraints, we were left with an area of approximately 6′ to 3′ wide (tapered) and 40′ long. Not much to work with when you want the plaza to consist of a monument, shade structure, a flag pole, some walking surface to gather and permanent stone seating. We also took a budget conscious approach to design.
The structures are made with: local Prescott stone coming from the Dunbar Stone (symbolic to Yarnell area), the main structure of pine wood (reflecting to the forest), a metal shade canopy element that has cut outs referencing diamond plate used on fire trucks and engraved black marble for the monument graphics. Local Designers (Serbin Studio) and contractors (Rounds Construction) along with the support of our client Riata West Homeowner Association President (John Wayne Anderson) & City Property Manager (Jo Jordan), made the project a success.
To top it all off, the Grand Opening occurred on June 30, 2015, 2 years from the date of the fire and in attendance was the Mayor of Buckeye Jackie Meck, Secretary of State Michelle Reagan, our state Sheriff Joe Arpaio, several Buckeye Council members, the chief of Buckeye Police and several officers, the chief of the Buckeye Fire Department and many firemen, Members of the Buffalo Soldiers, Sea Cadets, VFW, Aurora the Bald Eagle, some local newspapers and news stations and many Buckeye and Arizona residents.
The monument was designed to honor First Responders (Fire, Police, National Guard, Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, EMS, Coast Guard etc.) who have lost their lives while protecting the citizens of Arizona and beyond but also to honor those currently protecting us around our great State of Arizona.