Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs News Release (April 13, 2012) - MONTGOMERY - Officials with the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs are pleased with the progress of the Alabama State Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Spanish Fort. After an Oct. 7 groundbreaking ceremony, construction of the cemetery began on the approximately 120-acre site. We are extremely satisfied with both the pace and quality of construction of this sacred facility, which will be a fitting tribute to our veterans and heroes that wore our nations cloth, said Clyde Marsh, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs. The cemetery is on schedule to meet our projected opening of spring 2013. The first phase of construction covers 22.8 acres and includes an administration building, a maintenance facility, and a committal shelter. The burial population for this phase totals 2,776 graves, with in ground crypts, traditional graves, columbarium niches,and scatter grounds. This phase of burial sites should accommodate burials for 10 years before another expansion is needed. At this time, the administration building, which is approximately 2,700 square feet,has four walls, a roof, and some infrastructure. The nearly 3,700 square foot maintenance building is also currently under construction, with three walls standing. Last week, cryptinstallation began in the first pre-placed crypt burial section of the cemetery. The cemetery site has many unique features. It will have a Memorial Walk that connects with its neighbor, the Saluda Hills Cemetery, where Revolutionary War Soldier Zechariah Godbold is buried. The flag plaza and committal shelter have expanded areas to accommodate large gatherings for ceremonies and to serve as a venue for veterans or other events open to the public. -MORESTATE OF ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS P.O. BOX 1509 MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA 36102-1509 TELEPHONE (334) 242-5077 FAX (334) 242-5102 Contact: Robert Horton, Public Information Officer (334) 242-5084 Rear Admiral W. Clyde Marsh, USN, (Ret.) Commissioner The cemeterys site plans and architectural design were by Walcott Adams Verneuille Architects of Fairhope. After receiving a $7 million final grant approval and funding authorization from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in August, the state VA awarded the construction contract to White-Spunner Construction Co., Inc. of Mobile. The public can make monetary donations to the cemetery by writing checks payable to the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs and by indicating that the donation is for the cemetery project. Donations can be mailed to the ADVA, P.O. Box 1509, AL 36102-1509. Questions regarding the state veterans cemetery can be directed to Sandy Speakman,general counsel for the state VA at (334) 353-5033.