It has been almost two years since Joe Paterno’s statue outside Beaver Stadium was taken following the command of then-Penn State president Rodney Erickson. In a little more than a year, though, the former Nittany Lion football coach will have another statue honoring him, it just won’t be on the school’s campus.
Joe Paterno statue planned for downtown State College, needs to raise 300K http://t.co/EsEayrlMeq
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) April 23, 2014
The statue, which will feature a bronze Paterno sitting on a bench, is planned for installation outside the Tavern Restaurant in downtown State College in November 2015. It is being designed by Zenos Frudakis.
The organizers of the project are in no way directly affiliated with the university, which made the decision to remove Paterno’s on-campus statue–built in 2001 in honor of Paterno’s record-setting 324th Division I coaching victory and his “contributions to the university”–in July 2012 following the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
“There’s been some level of frustration among Penn Staters with what happened with the statue at the stadium,” Ted Sebastianelli, one of the organizers of the project, told OnwardState.com. “We wanted to come up with a way to honor Joe for all that he did for the State College community. It wasn’t just the university he impacted — it was the whole town.”
Sebastianelli, a past president of the Penn State Football Letterman’s Club and Board of Trustees candidate, said the statue will be inspired by a photo of Paterno that featured the coach eating ice cream, alone, on a bench. The Paterno family is not involved in the project, which is currently being referred to as, “Joe’s Bench,” but will later be called, “Reflections,” Sebastianelli said.
“As alumni groups come back every summer to celebrate reunions, they migrate to the Tavern,” Sebastianelli said “They can sit and reflect on the bench. It really will be a wonderful addition to the community.”
The project is estimated to cost $300K. Organizers will begin a Kickstarter campaign in July to raise funds, and the Porterfield Group has said it will donate some of its proceeds from its film, “The People’s Joe,” to the statue’s development.