Date: October 14, 2007
About: Quincy Senior High
Sign of the Times
For five years, a plan by former Quincy High School Principal Paul Koscielski to erect a new sign for the school has been on hold. The sign would replace a four-foot-tall brick structure that sits parallel to Maine and is hard for drivers to read.
But now the City Council has given its approval, bid specs are finalized and a site chosen. By spring, or sooner if the weather cooperates, QHS will have a 10-foot-tall sign with an electronic message board that will be clearly visible to drivers along Maine and 33rd streets.
The last step is collecting donations to pay for it, QHS Principal Terry Ellerman said.
"We want people to feel a common ownership for the sign," Ellerman said. "This is truly a community project."
The total cost for the sign is expected to be around $40,000. Just more than half of that has been raised, most of it coming from memorials, events and community groups. None of the project will be paid for with district funds, Ellerman said.
The sign will be dedicated to the memory of the Koscielskis. Susan Koscielski taught in Quincy Public Schools for many years. A plaque will be placed on the sign, honoring the Koscielskis and donors, and a dedication ceremony is planned.
The sign will stand at the east end of the grass island on the northwest corner of the QHS parking lot. The area around the base will be landscaped. The blue devil face and the words will be lighted from both sides.
Bids for the project will be advertised this week and opened by the end of the month. A recommendation on the contract award will go to the School Board for approval in November. Work will then proceed so long as weather permits.
Bleigh Construction will donate the cement for the foundation in memory of Susan Koscielski, who was a member of the Bleigh family. The district will prepare the electrical line and provide ongoing maintenance, which is expected to be minimal.
The sign's scrolling message board will be operated via a radio unit on the school roof connected to a computer in the front office. It will advertise school and district activities open to the public and promote community events that the schools host.
Any donation is welcome and may be sent in care of the Sign Fund to the QHS office at 3322 Maine, Quincy, Ill. 62301.
Contact Staff Writer Holly Wagner
or (217) 221-3374