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Centennial Plaza project underway
Plaza groundbreaking
Attending the Monday groundbreaking ceremony for the Ceres Centennial Plaza are: (left to right), committee members Sheryl Reynders Trout, Shelia and Lee Brandt and Sharon and Paul Caruso; Mayor Chris Vierra; Council members Channce Condit and Bret Durossette; and committee members Lisa Mantarro Moore, Keith and Brandy Meyer, Couper Condit and Laura Akin.

A short groundbreaking ceremony took place Monday evening to mark the start of construction for the Centennial Plaza.

Located on the southwest corner of Fourth and Magnolia in front of the Ceres Community Center, the plaza will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of the city of Ceres in 2018. Ceres itself traces its founding back to 1869. The first recorded map of the town of Ceres was filed Feb. 20, 1875. Ceres was incorporated as a city on March 4, 1918.

The plaza is expected to be done in late April before the Ceres Street Faire takes place May 2-3 and will be paved with bricks engraved with the names and short messages of those who purchase them. The Ceres Centennial Committee is still selling bricks for individuals, families and businesses through the city’s website, Engraved bricks are available for purchase at $100 for 3” x 8” bricks and $250 for the 12” x 18” bricks.)

“We’re finally here,” said Paul Caruso, chairman of the Ceres Centennial Committee at the ceremony. “We started in December of 2016 as our first meeting.”

He said financing was an obstacle to overcome to ensure the city doesn’t have to use taxpayer funds into the project.

“When your grandkids – my grandkid is eight years old and I don’t know if she’ll live to be 106 – we’re going to have our name someplace there and it seems right.”

Mayor Chris Vierra said the corner on which the project will be placed has “come a long ways this last decade.” He mentioned the old community center which was replaced by the new center 10 years ago. Vierra thanked all the committee members for their work.

Lisa Mantarro Moore of the Ceres Centennial Committee said she was proud of the city and grateful that city leadership allowed the committee to plan the project. She also thanked the donors who bought bricks to spare the city’s General Fund.

Final costs have yet to be determined but the Ceres Centennial Committee has raised most of the estimated $20,000 to build a Centennial Plaza feature on Fourth Street near the Community Center. Chad Kennedy of O’Dell Engineering donated his time to design the plaza.

Payment may be made by checks payable to the Ceres Community Foundation and mailed to the Ceres Centennial Celebration, c/o City of Ceres, 2720 Second Street, Ceres CA 95307. For more information call 409-2676.

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