EDWARDSVILLE — The U.S. Navy A7E Corsair on display at the Robert C. Stille Edwardsville Township Community Park is in need of some attention.
Edwardsville Township Supervisor Frank Miles announced at the Oct. 28 meeting of the Board of Trustees of Edwardsville Township that the township is kicking off a campaign to raise money in the community to refurbish the A7E Corsair that has been on display in Township Park for more than 20 years.
“The A-7 is the township’s most recognizable feature,” Miles said. “In fact, many people in the township refer to the park as Airplane Park. The airplane is also a central part of our new township logo.”
“I was approached by a small group of township residents last year who were interested in refurbishing the Corsair at Township Park,” Miles said. “Per their recommendation, we are first launching a website, www.airplaneoverhaul.com, and establishing a community fund with the Greater Edwardsville Area Community Foundation, where residents can make tax-deductible contributions for the renovation of the airplane.”
The renovation project will include repairing damage caused by time and corrosion and will involve an overall repainting of the airplane. The team spearheading the project includes airmen stationed at Scott Air Force Base who are in the business of maintaining and keeping up aircraft. Miles said they have reviewed the airplane and the structure to find it intact but in need of rehab.
The project also includes a lighting program to light the plane at night, as well as the flag that is on display, with funds received from the Madison County Environmental Grant the township has already been awarded. An additional part of the project will be to complete a landscaped area around the base of the plane to include space to honor Edwardsville Township veterans who have served or who are currently serving in the military.
“We anticipate the availability of some type of markers to honor their service and to allow families to have a place to recognize their service in the park,” Miles said. “We are working with the Madison County Veteran’s Assistance Commission to seek funds that they may have available to put toward that aspect of the project. We do not have a location in the township that honors our veterans who have served and are continuing to serve and our intent is to complete that vision at the airplane site.”
To kick start the campaign, the township’s float in the Edwardsville Halloween Party will feature the A7 Corsair. In addition, the team coordinating the project have been meeting and is developing a rendition of what the project would look like and from there community and the corporate solicitation of funds will be sought.
“A capital development fund will be put in place going forward to ensure that the plane’s maintenance will never again be a concern,” Miles said. “The plane has basically been untouched since it was first installed at the park via an agreement with U.S. Department of Defense, worked out between U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello and former Supervisor Bob Stille over 20 years ago. The plane is still under the ownership of the U.S. Defense Department and we have reached out to them and to Congressman Davis’ office to seek their help in the project.”
The next step will be the formal unveiling of the rendition of the design of the facility and reaching out to corporate and other community sponsors.
For more information about the campaign to refurbish the airplane, visit www.airplaneoverhaul.com.
Edwardsville Township is composed of the city of Edwardsville, village of Glen Carbon and unincorporated areas just outside of these two municipalities. The Township Supervisor’s office is located at 300 West Park in Edwardsville and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday and Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
Learn more about Edwardsville Township online at www.edwardsvilletownship.com or contact the Township Offices by phone at (618) 656-0292.