By BROOKE STEVENSON
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE — Sculpture stands made by Roosevelt High School students were a new addition to last weekend’s Cool Blues Ice Fest.
Members of Glen Meisel’s advanced machine trades class made 25 stands for the ice sculptures that lined downtown, welding and painting all of them in less than three weeks.
“The ice stands that we had made at the high school brought the ice festival to a new level,” said Wyandotte Business Association Office Manager Lynn Steffensky. “They certainly raised the bar.”
Councilman Todd Browning came up with the idea and asked Meisel if he would be interested.
“It was actually an awesome idea,” Meisel said. “We had a great time and the kids had a good time.”
Students who worked on the project include Phil Blackson, Matthew Cray, Michael Dhans, Dario Farrugia, George Findlay, Kristen Fronczak, Adam Giesin, Andrew Grabarkiewicz, Josh Jamula, Tommy Jessen, Chad Johnston, Brandon Olson, Joe Peregord, Nick Phelps, Chris Poe, Richie Radeback, Brenden Razmek, Victor Reyes, Luke Robinson, Jordan Rutkowski and Ian Toth.
“We had to cut steel for two hours to make them all,” Meisel said. The cutting was followed by filing, welding, filing again and cleaning before finally being painted white.
A type of assembly line was set up and the stands were assembled on a wooden jig so that they would all be the same, which allows them to be stacked for easy storage.
“I honestly could not believe that we made the first 16 in two hours,” he said. “It was a really good little setup we had going on.
“It was very impressive, the kids worked hard.”
Browning said he was glad to have the stands to replace the cinder blocks covered in colored plastic that have been used during past Ice Fests.
“This goes right hand in hand with supporting local,” Browning said. “Here you have high school students helping the WBA on a 3rd Friday event.”
Steffensky said many of the ice carvers and judges were impressed with the new stands.
“This will help the word get out,” she said. “The Ice Fest will get bigger, and that is what we need. It’s grown from last year, and I think it went really well.”