New sculpture sets stage for revitalization project for Southwest Military Drive

By Stephanie Serna - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A new 75-foot sculpture called the Tribute to Freedom is now the first thing you'll see as you drive into Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

The steel and aluminum sculpture sits right at the entrance and is a tribute to our military.

“We are trying to pay tribute to the Air Force," District 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña said. "We are trying to pay tribute to the military and the history and the backbone of what has been the San Antonio economy and social fabric for such a long time.”

The sculpture is phase one of the Lackland Corridor Gateway Project, which is expected to bring life to the portion of Southwest Military Drive that goes into JBSA-Lackland.

Saldana said the area the first experience many people have with the city because of all the airmen who have graduated and have invited their families to JBSA-Lackland.

“We’re trying to revitalize the entire area, and we’re starting by giving them a gift," Saldana said.

That "visual gift" is by San Antonio artist George Schroeder.

"It’s a tribute to our city and it’s a tribute to our military presence," Schroeder said. "We’re also showing a protection around the Washington monument, all the branches of the military protecting the United States and what it stands for.”

Also under the Lackland Corridor Gateway Project is a much needed drainage project, landscape features and parking and infrastructure to recapture Military Drive.

Saldana said the whole project would come with a price tag of $15 million but without raising taxes. Instead, it would be part of a bond.

Saldana said he's hoping voters will approve the project sometime in 2021 or 2022.

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