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By Kristina Pritchett

Planning Commissioners tabled a vote to approve the public art component for the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church remodel and expansion project after a couple of Commissioners said they didn’t believe all the projects were considered “public.”

The Commission voted four to one in favor of holding off on the vote until the city could speak with the church about the projects.

The remodel and expansion of the church has been in progress since September 2014, costing a total of $6.6 million, which results in a minimum value cost requirement of $33,000 for the public art component of the project.

The public art projects consisted of two stained glass windows, which would be visible from inside and outside of the church along Stonehill Drive, a contemplation garden cross and entry wall sculptures located at the south end of the site, a natural boulder fountain in the courtyard and carillon bells in a new bell tower.

Commissioner April O’Connor said she believed the projects benefited the property and the property owner but couldn’t see how they would benefit the city as a whole.

“I believe the art in public places program is a wonderful program,” O’Connor said. “It’s usually things like the dolphin statue, or the mosaics on the bridge; they benefit the city as whole with easy access.”

Commissioner Danni Murphy said she believed everyone was “over-thinking” the projects.

A couple of the Commissioners didn’t see the parks being that open to the public since they will be built on private property.

The city will discuss the project with the church and bring it back to the Commission at a later date.

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