By Greg Fuderer
CORONA, Calif. – A public meeting held here Thursday evening to discuss the future of the Bicentennial mural on the Prado Dam spillway attracted more than 200 attendees, many of whom made impassioned statements about their desire to see the original mural restored.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hosted the meeting at the Corona High School Performing Arts Center to gauge the public’s interest in potential alternatives for the spillway face following the removal of the original mural, which has been weathered by time and defaced by graffiti, scheduled to take place between late April and late July.
Rep. Ken Calvert, Corona Mayor Eugene Montanez and Lance Natsuhara of the Orange County Flood Control District joined Los Angeles District Commander Col. Kimberly Colloton onstage to encourage attendees to participate in the mural determination process. Encouragement may not have been necessary.
About three dozen people gave public comments, nearly all of whom expressed the desire to replicate the current mural.
Many talked of the community pride associated with the mural and its national significance, saying it is the largest patriotic mural in the nation and the last remaining monument to specifically commemorate the Bicentennial.
Colloton, in her closing remarks, said while she could not now say the original mural will be repainted, the message from the attendees was passionate and clear.
The Corps anticipates additional public meetings to discuss the composition of a design review committee and mural selection process and to provide explicit information regarding the submission of mural designs.