Students' sign unveiled at Bryan Station High School

vhoneycutt@herald-leader.comOctober 24, 2013 

In 2011, one of Marquetta Hensley's students at Bryan Station High School showed her a 3D paper model.

Two years later, there is a new stainless steel sculpture in front of Bryan Station High School that spells out the word "Station" in block capital letters.

"I thought it would make a fantastic sign for the school," Hensley, an art teacher, recalled. "It was professional."

Students from Bryan Station and Fayette School District's Southside Technical Center and Lake Cumberland Area Technology Center in Russell Springs worked on the sign. An official unveiling of the sculpture was held Thursday at the high school at 201 Eastin Road.

After the student, Gabriel Baczkowski, showed Hensley his model, she took it to Southside Technical Center where it ended up with welding instructor Jim Lamirande.

Lamirande said he and Barney Taylor, a welding teacher from Lake Cumberland Area Technology Center, decided their students could work together on the project.

Lake Cumberland students designed and cut out the forms with a plasma torch, and welded the steel pieces into individual letters. Southside welding students later assembled the unit in their shop, positioning the hollow letters at 90-degree angles. Fusing the letters, polishing the flat steel and fitting the sculpture on the base took several weeks.

"The second-year students welded it from corner to corner and finished it off," Southside junior Austin Sparks said in a release. They used a special sanding disk so the sign wouldn't rust in bad weather.

Students in Southside's carpentry and masonry classes also worked on temporary wooden supports and permanent settings in concrete.

There was a one year delay while installation details were worked out.

Hensley said she raised $3,000 from various donors for the materials and the site work. Total cost was about $3,500.

In the private sector, with labor and steel costs, such a project might cost more than $20,000, Lamirande said.

Hensley said she is trying to raise money for spotlights.

Two weeks ago, a tractor hoisted the sculpture, which is 20-foot-long, 39 inches tall and weighs 1,500 pounds, into place. School officials mounted a security camera.

Baczkowski, now a student at the University of Louisville, said he's glad that an idea that came about almost by accident turned into something lasting.

"I was just playing around with some paper and tape," he said.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: (859) 231-3409. Twitter: @vhspears

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