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Students sign in at high school

March 7, 2018 GMT

JOHNSON CREEK -- Students and staff in the Johnson Creek School District are enjoying the second school year in their new dome building, but before a few weeks ago the school had yet to have a completed sign. Johnson Creek High School students finished putting one up a few weeks ago and have taken branding their school to a whole new level by creating their own unique school sign to match the dome look of the school.

“We started planning and working on the project a year before we got in this building,” said Ray Lauersdorf, technology and engineering teacher.

Students in Lauersdorf’s classes along with art students in Lyndsi Braunschweig’s classes helped to design and create the sign for the district’s new school.


The project started with a conceptual sketch by Emily Benner and Hailey Garskey. After creating the sketch students in Lauersdorf’s drafting class put dimensions to the sketch and modeled it using CAD software.

“Once modeled, those students put together a plan set to work off of,” Lauersdorf said.

Students, Wayne Dunn and Austin Schwoegler, took the digital model and made a 3-D prototype using the school’s 3-D printer. The 3-D print was sent back to the artists who painted the model so the school board could see the finished design. After that step was complete the building construction class marked out the location of the sign where it would be visible from the longest distance in both directions.

“This class also did the concrete work which involved pouring a footing for the columns to sit on and fabricating the forms for the columns and installing form liners that would match the walls of the dome,” Lauersdorf said.

After the columns were poured, the forms were stripped and the process of fabricating the canopy began. Jacob Reichert took on the majority of this phase of the project. He worked with Dave Wolf, owner of JWR, who helped him design the frame for the canopy, and donated the sheet metal that was used to make the canopy.

Reichert designed and fabricated the Bluejay attached to each side of the south column. He used a CNC plasma torch to cut out the pieces for the Bluejay.

“Ron and Randy Roehl of CNC Solutions took in our plasma torch to perform some maintenance to get it running properly and also worked with Jacob to troubleshoot and work through some problems with toolpaths that he was running into,” Lauersdorf said. “Jacob also designed and fabricated the brackets that attached the video board to the columns.”


The brackets were made in a way to allow the video board to be removed for maintenance.

“It was a fantastic project for the kids to work through,” Lauersdorf said. “From the art students drawing it up and the engineering students making a plan, to the building construction class figuring out the best location of the sign for the best line of sign from east and west and not getting to close to the road for county ordinances. Those things were all considered.”

Dr. Michael Garvey, superintendent said the school sign turned out to be an awesome project.

“One of my goals, when we began designing the new middle school/high school building, was to include students as much as possible,” he said. “Our student artists developed several sketches incorporating the shape of the building into the design. Those sketches were shared with the school board members who selected components from a few sketches and the final design was created.”

“The construction classes, the metals classes as well as the art students were all involved. Students learned quite a bit about engineering, welding, paint mediums and more,” Garvey said. “We are very thankful for our community business partners who worked with our students during the metal fabrication.”

Including students in major projects is important to the faculty and staff in Johnson Creek.

“Mr. Lauersdorf and Ms. Braunschweig have been very helpful in helping me reach my goal of including students in the projects,” Garvey said. “Both have a similar philosophy as I do about including students. Their guidance has helped the sign project see completion as well as many of the other projects.”