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It's hip to be Square

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Tuesday's ceremony. Dallus Whitfield photo

Square renovation celebrated
Traffic was flowing steadily around the newly-renovated Lebanon Public Square Tuesday, July 21 as a crowd of government officials, business owners and Lebanon/Wilson Chamber of Commerce members filled the southeast parking quadrant for a celebration that some say was a longtime overdue.

Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead proudly cut through a ribbon to mark the new chapter in our history, alongside Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer, Ward 3 City Councilor Rob Cesternino, Chamber President Melanie Minter, State Representatives Mark Pody and Susan Lynn and others who were instrumental in revitalizing the square.

Thanks to a TDOT Safety Grant in partnership with city funds, ground was broken on the project last September. Construction to turn the square into a roundabout design with four parking quadrants paused in December 2014 to not disturb square merchants during their busiest retail season, then resumed in January. It was completed in late June.

TDOT Commissioner Schroer said that he was glad to watch the transformation.

"With this project I got to be involved from start to finish," he said. The former mayor of Franklin added that he understood the value of an attractive town square.

"I know how important a downtown is to a community. When your leaders are talking to businesses about coming to their city, one thing that is important is their core," Schroer continued. "This will speak highly of the community."

Prior to the ribbon cutting, Mayor Craighead proclaimed the third week of July the inaugural "Shop Local Week."

As the celebration continued with on-site food vendors and a tour of the square, Cesternino's remarks were spot-on: "Here in Lebanon, we are open for business."

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at

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