HANFORD — The city of Hanford has a new landmark.
A large metal sign bearing the city’s name is now on prominent display in the median at Lacey Boulevard and Garner Avenue.
Alvin Dias, parks superintendent, and other members of parks staff installed the sign Thursday morning. The project was a collaborative effort between the Hanford Parks and Recreation Department and a local high school.
When Lacey Boulevard was resurfaced in January 2016, Americans with Disabilities Act improvements required the sidewalk to be rerouted through the median. To put the sidewalk in, trees and landscape irrigation in the median were removed.
Instead of putting the same type of landscape back in the median, Council members at the time said they wanted to see something different put in that would require less maintenance.
In an effort to transform the bare median, Parks staff began to brainstorm ideas that incorporated local history and industries that helped build the community.
They chose an agriculture theme that included a large fabricated metal sign that says “Hanford” on both sides, plus two tractors and two cows.
The design, which does not hinder visibility in the area, was approved by the Parks and Recreation Commission in December and staff started contacting local businesses and high school programs for help.
The tractors came from Safarjian Farms and Hanford High School Ag teacher Michael Taylor was asked if his students could fabricate the sign, which he gladly agreed to.
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. The sign, which was finished in early February, took the students only a few weeks to create.
“They did a good job,” Dias said about the students’ work. “It came out nice.”
The metal sign was painted yellow on the outside and black on the inside. Dias said the color was chosen to correlate with the city’s emblem.
Solar floodlights will illuminate each letter in the sign, the tractors and the cows and Dias hopes people don’t vandalize them.
“I hope people like it and enjoy it,” he said.