Columbarium installation shows Wesley Chapel Cemetery's expansion progress

KEVIN CORVO
kcorvo@thisweeknews.com
A team from Atlas Industrial Contractors places a 15,000-pound columbarium on its base Sept. 1 at Wesley Chapel Cemetery,  3225 Dublin Road in Norwich Township. It was one of five added to the cemetery as part of a $1.3 million expansion project.

Five 15,000-pound columbaria were set in place with a crane Sept. 1 at Wesley Chapel Cemetery, 3225 Dublin Road, as the expansion of the Norwich Township cemetery progresses.

The $1.3 million expansion project, visible from the 45-degree turn on Dublin Road as it passes along the south and east sides of the cemetery, includes the columbaria, which are structures that hold cremated remains, as well as a meditation garden, a children’s memorial garden and a ceremony plaza.

Norwich Township contracted with Builderscape Inc. for $1.3 million to build the expansion after paying OHM Advisors $118,000 for the design, said Norwich Township administrator Jamie Fisher.

Atlas Industrial Contractors workers were completing the columbarium installation Sept. 1.

The expansion project is expected to be finished by November but could go in next spring, Fisher said.

The ceremony plaza will have about 100 in-ground cremation plots, a labyrinth, a sitting area and ornamental trees, and the meditation garden will include memorial walls and a dedication boulder, according to Josh Helms, a senior designer with OHM Advisors.

The children’s memorial garden will have plaque locations, gravel and artwork to provide a place for adults to honor children they have lost, Fisher said.

A scattering garden, which is a place set aside for the scattering of ashes, also is part of the expansion, Fisher said.

Funds to pay for the cemetery expansion come from the township’s estate-tax fund, she said.

Although the Ohio General Assembly repealed the estate tax effective January 2013, Norwich Township still has estate-tax revenue it previously collected, dating back to 2005, Fisher said.

A cemetery expansion is an appropriate use of the estate-tax revenue, Norwich Township trustee Chuck Buck said.

“We have estate-tax dollars left over, and I’d like to use that money for this,” Buck said. “It’s going back to something for the community that will be here forever.”

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo