MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- A local technical college stepped up to surprise students at a Manhattan elementary school after learning that their school's mascot has been repeatedly destroyed.
After seven months of hard work, Jonathan Rowe, a student at Manhattan Area Technical College, unveiled a life-sized dolphin sculpture at Bergman Elementary School Monday during an assembly of the student body. Students clapped and cheered as the newest version of "Frankie" the dolphin was revealed.
Manhattan Area Technical College (MATC) decided to take on the project after learning that previous sculptures showcasing the school's mascot had been targeted by vandalized and damaged by high winds.
"They’ve had two or three other dolphins here in front of their school. The wind has blown them over. They’ve been vandalized. And they’ve been made out of stone or concrete and bricks and just haven’t lasted. We decided to fabricate one out of steel, hoping that it will last a lot longer," said Wes Chambers, MATC Welding Instructor. "
Just to see their faces and now they have a mascot or they have something that they can take their pictures in front of and be proud of when they come to school. We have some very artistic students that not only are good fabricators and welders but can see this in their minds and see it to completion," he added.
The steel sculpture will be placed in front of the school. The sculpture is also in honor of Carolyn Esser, an employee at Bergman who passed away during the school year of cancer.
The plaque on the dolphin states: In memory of Carolyn Esser. Donated by Manhattan Area Technical College Designed and fabricated by Jonathan Rowe.