Crawford Construction Co. has been hired as the construction manager for the Veterans Memorial Plaza in downtown Van Buren.

Aldermen voted 4-0 Tuesday to enter into a contract with Crawford Construction at a cost not to exceed $667,700 for the phase II of the Veterans Park. Aldermen David Moore and Mike Kneeland were absent from the special called meeting.

Veterans Memorial Plaza is the city’s original Veterans Park and is located across Main Street from Freedom Park, which was dedicated and opened to the public on June 30.

The new park in the 800 block of Main Street will include a flag plaza honoring all branches of the military as well as a flag and seal for first-responders, according to City Planner Joe Hurst.

“All the military seals will be featured in a monument along both sides of one of two water features,” Hurst said. “A bridge will connect the flags to a star-shaped water feature.”

A Battle Cross monument donated to the city by Chase Haynes, an Eagle Scout with Troop 45 in Van Buren, will be in the center of the Memorial Plaza water feature. Haynes’s statue, cast of pure American bronze, of a helmet, identification tags, inverted rifle and combat boots is meant to represent a fallen soldier.

Veterans Memorial Plaza will be surrounded with landscaping and berm along with period light poles.

Freedom Park, adjacent to the train depot, will serve as an entertainment and recreational venue. The park consists of two pavilions to be utilized by the local Farmers Market, and for other groups and activities, an open green-space area with a stage, an interactive fountain feature, and benches and picnic tables.

Veterans Memorial Plaza will be designated as a space of reflection.

Mayor Bob Freeman said Veterans Memorial Plaza will be a destination to respectfully reflect upon and honor the sacrifices made by the veterans of all United States armed forces.

Freeman pointed out the water features will not be splash pads as in Freedom Park, but fountain water features.

The parks are funded, in part, by a special election investment initiative from July 10, 2012.