TCHS Unveils New Collaborative Gate Project


By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate

Since the beginning of the school year, Tucker County High School has been undergoing a facelift with projects such as painting, flower bed restoration, and most noticeably the new entrance gate. This project has been on the minds of auto body instructor Dave Nelson and art teacher Charley Waters for the past couple years, and it has finally come to life.

Waters succssfully secured a grant to help fund the project. Waters and Nelson put their ideas together, along with the help of some of the art students, to put their vision onto a physical form. Art student Sadie Palmer designed the rhododendron tree portion that spans across the bottom of the gate. The top boasts a mountain lion scene and a patriotic American Flag in the corners.

Once the design was in place, Nelson reached out to the Mineral County Welding Instructor to enlist their expertise in fabricating the gate. While they welded and plasma cut their way to completion, the carpentry class took to the reconstruction of the pillars to which the gates would be hung. Paul Pennington, Carpentry Instructor for TCHS, had his students chisel away the old brick on the pillars, construct a new form, and pour the concrete. Nelsons class was responsible for painting and finishing the gate prior to installation.

Taylor Long, carpentry student and foreman of the project, opened the dedication ceremony by thanking everyone for coming and the art class for their hard work on the design and securing the grant for the school beautification project. Long explained the process from start to finish.

The foreman of the project from Mineral County took a moment to reflect on the project before presenting a key for the gate to the TCHS Senior Class Officers. He explained how they utilized simulated workplace including a job foreman, safety teams, and operators. “We have all learned so very much from this,” he said. “I hope we make the whole entire area proud.”

The welding instructor, Luke Spencer, took a moment to explain how simulated workplace was implemented in his class on this project and how they ran it like an actual business. “I’m proud of these boys and my entire welding class,” Spencer stated.

Nelson took a moment to thank Mineral County and expressed his desire to partner with the class again on future projects. The key was then presented to Cameron Mullenax, Senior Class President, while he, along with his fellow officers, took the new key and officially opened the new gates to the school.