Restoration in the works for Healy sign

  • Sunday, September 28, 2014 10:11pm
  • News

HEALY — The “Welcome To Healy” sign is looking for a little love — and it may finally have found some.

The Denali Chamber of Commerce has agreed to manage fundraising to restore the Healy sign, which is badly in need of renovation.

Local businesses and community members are encouraged to donate to the project by mailing a donation to Denali Chamber of Commerce, Re: Healy Sign, P.O. Box 437, Healy, AK 99743.

The colorful flowered sign, at the Healy intersection, has been there for about 11 years. It was the culmination of a year-long high school service learning class.

Former Alaska State Teacher of the Year Sonja Schmidt taught the class and oversaw the project, done entirely by students.

“Students first conducted a needs assessment, then ran a design contest, learned about sign design, took field trips to the Vital Signs studio during planning and construction of the sign,” Schmidt said.

Students also “worked with the Denali Borough and the state of Alaska to get permits for the sign, ran a fundraising campaign and helped with grant writing.”

Students raised about $4,000.

When the sign arrived, several local businesses donated their time and equipment to install the posts. Students then installed the sign under guidance of the Denali Borough School District maintenance supervisor.

“The sign has become an iconic source of pride for residents and is used widely to promote local businesses,” Schmidt said.

Photos of the sign regularly appear on websites and tourist brochures.

The students who made it happen just celebrated their 10-year class reunion and according to Schmidt, they “are mindful of the impact their work has had on promoting the sense of community of Healy.”

Local volunteers such as Craig Schmidt and Kevin Hamel have maintained the sign periodically through the years, but it needs more work. The sign needs a facelift after years of being exposed to wind, sun, rain and snow.

One board on the northern side of the sign is gone, perhaps the victim of high winds. The laminate on the back began peeling off about three years ago. Kevin Hamel “graciously had the varnishing done,” Schmidt said.

The company that made the sign, Vital Signs, is preparing an estimate of the cost to repair.

Schmidt, who retired, but kept her hand in this project, is anxious for the community to embrace this project. She hopes everyone will help to make the sign something the community can be proud of.

“Let’s make sure those students come back on their 20-year reunion and once again can have their picture taken by their sign,” she said.

It is important to her that students still feel the glow of success from that project so many years later. Who knows? It might even inspire other students to take on other service projects in the community, she said.

More in News

The Homer Spit is evacuated during the July 28 tsunami warning at about 10:50 p.m. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Tsunami warning test scheduled for Wednesday morning

The National Weather Service will conduct a statewide test of the tsunami… Continue reading

A mock up of the Soldotna Field House. (Photo via City of Soldotna)
Soldotna designates field house funds

Construction of a field house in Soldotna took a step forward last… Continue reading

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, speaks during a meeting of the House State Affairs committee on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Carpenter, Ruffridge target state finances

The central Kenai Peninsula’s representatives in the Alaska House of Representatives have… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19: Local cases fall after last week’s spike

After a spike of 50 new COVID-19 cases was reported in the… Continue reading

A tripod set by the Soldotna and Kenai Rotary Clubs stands over the ice of the Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Local Rotary Clubs testing new contest for next winter

The Rotary Clubs of Soldotna and Kenai are performing a test in… Continue reading

Alaska State Troopers logo.
State Trooper convicted of attempted sexual abuse of a minor

Vance Peronto, formerly an Alaska State Trooper based in Soldotna, was convicted… Continue reading

Soldotna City Hall is seen on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna moves ahead with staff recruitment strategies

Soldotna City Council members last week gave city administration a thumbs up… Continue reading

State representatives Tom McKay, R-Anchorage, and Andi Story, D-Juneau, offering competing amendments to a bill increasing the per-student funding formula for public schools by $1,250 during a House Education Committee meeting Wednesday morning. McKay’s proposal to lower the increase to $150 was defeated. Story’s proposal to implement an increase during the next two years was approved, after her proposed amounts totalling about $1,500 were reduced to $800.
Borough, Soldotna call on Legislature to increase school funding

The City of Soldotna last week became the latest entity to call… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears goalie Nils Wallstrom celebrates winning a shootout over the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears sweep Ice Dogs, move into 3rd place

The Kenai River Brown Bears earned a two-game sweep over the Fairbanks… Continue reading

Most Read