WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Nearly 14 years after a massive fire inside The Station nightclub killed 100 people and injured 200 others on February 20, 2003, a permanent memorial in honor of those who died on that site in West Warwick will be officially dedicated May 21, 2017.
Here’s a look at the long journey organizers took to get the memorial built.
2003 – In the months following the fire, the charred debris left behind is removed and a makeshift memorial begins to mark the site.
July 29, 2003 – The Station Memorial Foundation sends a letter to Triton Realty Co. – owner of the site – seeking to acquire the land for a permanent memorial.
January 7, 2010 – Federal judge approves $176 million in settlements in civil cases stemming from the fire.
May 18, 2010 – Federal judge makes settlements official – ending lawsuits stemming from the fire
Sept 28, 2012 – The company that owned the land announces the fire site has been transferred to the foundation for the construction of a permanent memorial.
Feb 17, 2013 – Just ahead of the 10-year anniversary, the foundation holds a groundbreaking for a permanent memorial and unveils sketches of the project.
Sept 15, 2013 – Makeshift memorial dismantled
Sept 18, 2013 – Work begins at site, crews put fences
Feb 14, 2014 – Station Fire Memorial Foundation hires a fundraiser
July 10, 2014 – Then-Gov. Lincoln Chafee approves a tax-exempt bill for the memorial site.
December 5, 2014 – State agencies give approval for Station Fire Memorial. Organizers say no digging will take place on the site to avoid disrupting any remains that may be at rest there.June 2015 – Construction on a scaled-down version of the memorial begins
Sept 19, 2015 – Fundraising for the $2 million project reaches the half-way markMarch 24, 2016 – Rhode Island churches help raise money for the memorial
August 2016 – Survivors and family members of those lost are upset that the fire site is a Pokemon Go stop. A few days later, the stop was removed from the game.
Oct 17, 2016 – Station Memorial Foundation reaches it s$2 million fundraising goal. However, it also delays planned dedication until spring.
Nov 29, 2016 – Project is moving along and the foundation says fundraising is still ongoing for the park’s upkeep.Feb 24, 2017 – Station Memorial Foundation officially sets a dedication date for May 21, 2017.