HANFORD — A handful of local high school students in Hanford have been working on a large project for the last couple weeks, and they’re hoping their work will stand the test of time.
The students have fabricated a large metal sign that will be on prominent display in Hanford.
Alvin Dias, parks superintendent, went to the Hanford City Council meeting on Jan. 15 to talk about the design for the Lacey Boulevard and Garner Avenue median.
Lacey Boulevard was resurfaced in January 2016 and as part of the project, Americans with Disabilities improvements required the sidewalk to be rerouted through the median. To put the sidewalk in, Dias said trees and landscape irrigation in the median had to be removed.
Instead of putting the same type of landscape back in the median, he said a Council member at the time wanted to see something different that would require less maintenance.
Dias said staff began to brainstorm ideas to transform the bare median that incorporated local history and industries that helped build the community.
Staff chose an agriculture theme that included a large fabricated metal sign that says “Hanford” on both sides, two tractors and some cows. Floodlights will light the sign at night.
The design was approved by the Parks and Recreation Commission in December and staff started contacting local businesses and high school programs, which is when Hanford High School got involved.
When asked if his students could fabricate the Hanford sign, HHS ag teacher Michael Taylor said some of his students definitely had the skillset to do the project.
Seven of Taylor’s students in different grades — including some from Hanford West and Sierra Pacific high schools — worked on the sign during their respective class periods: Jordon Gibson, Trevor West, Britney Cardoza, Travis Olivera, Greyson Woolwine, George Dunker, Chase Avila.
Taylor said he thought the project would take until at least Easter, but surprisingly it only took a little over two weeks to complete. Each individual letter is 4 feet tall and the sign is about 30 feet long when put together.
Taylor gave the credit to his students and said he was proud of the work they did and excited for them.
“We’re really honored to be partnering with the city to do stuff in the community,” Taylor said. “This thing is going to be around a while so I had them do their best work.”
Gibson, 17, and Cardoza, 17 are both seniors in Taylor’s agricultural design and fabrication class.
Gibson said at first the project seemed daunting, but once they started and got the first pair of letters done, they realized it was pretty easy.
After living in Hanford her whole life, Cardoza said it made her feel good to be a part of making something that will be a part of the community. Gibson agreed, saying it was a nice feeling knowing he had helped make this Hanford monument.
“When I’m 80 years old I can come back and tell my grandkids, ‘See that right there? I built that’,” Gibson said.
Taylor said the Parks department is going to paint the sign and install it at the median. He said he was told the installation will most likely take place sometime in the spring.
Both Gibson and Cardoza encouraged the community to visit the sign once it’s installed.