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FROM LEFT: Tiffany Puckett, Vicki Duncan, and Chris Bush stand by one of the new ping pong tables in the atrium of the high school.
When visitors walk through the front doors of Crook County High School, they will see some new additions gracing the atrium as they look through the windows to the outside area.
Two concrete ping pong tables and a concrete chess table now preside over the space, adding not only a unique beauty to the area, but an activity outlet for students during break time and before and after school. The tables were purchased by ASB (associated student body) funds, and according to CCHS Leadership instructor Vicki Duncan, the students chose to dedicate them in honor of CCHS Principal Rocky Miner. A concrete chess table was also purchased by the Leadership students.
“When we told him we were going to do it, he jumped up and down, he was so excited,” exclaimed Duncan. “He just believes they are a positive addition to the school.”
Three years ago, CCHS Principal Rocky Miner went to a leadership conference for administrators, and he saw a display of concrete ping pong and chess tables. The tables were produced and sold by Bravado Outdoor Products in Roseburg, Ore. The products were being promoted as permanent activities for students to do on their campus.
“That table weighed 2,600 pounds, and he guaranteed it for 100 years,” said Leadership instructor Vicki Duncan.
Miner was taken with the tables, and thought it would provide an activity that students could do before and after school and at lunch time.
“When I saw the pictures online of these ping-pong tables, I immediately thought how they would just fit into the esthetics of that inside courtyard, and give our kids another place at lunch time and even before and after school to have something else to do — another activity,” commented Miner.
Duncan said Miner came back to the Leadership class to see if they would be interested in purchasing them with ASB (associated student body) Leadership funds. At the time, the student fund was low due to other purchases, including scoreboards for the gym.
Duncan said that they really wanted to purchase the tables, and during a meeting this school year, the students agreed to purchase them. They contacted a local company, but they didn’t have the molds, which are very expensive. They were able to work out the purchase with Bravado Outdoor Products, and received a discount because they bought two tables. They also obtained a really good deal on the shipping.
“We have always wanted to get something that kids can be actively doing, and have fun at, at lunchtime,” remarked CCHS Leadership student Chris Bush.
He said that when Miner came to them with the idea, they liked it, but they didn’t have the resources to get them right away.
“It’s been a goal of his for three years, and we finally got them and we had the resources and planned for it,” he added.
Only two schools in Oregon have the tables, and CCHS is the only high school. The Bravado Outdoor Products has a photo of the Crook County tables on their website.
“They have them all over the world,” Duncan added.
The students selected the atrium area at the high school as a home for the tables. The area has not been used by students much in the past.
“Now we have kids out here every day, before school, after school, and at lunch time — actually enjoying this area and getting out,” she noted.
Duncan said that the students dedicated the tables to Miner, because it was initially his idea, and it meant a great deal to him. She indicated that he had tears when they showed him the plaque placed on the tables in dedication of him.
Tiffany Puckett, also a Leadership student, said that previously students didn’t have a lot to do at lunchtime to be active.
“It was nice to be able to do that for him, and dedicate it to him, because for the senior class of 2013, he has been our principal for the past seven years,” explained Puckett. “It was nice to be able to give something back to him, because he has been there for us for so long.”
The Leadership class had a surprise dedication party in honor of Miner at lunchtime yesterday after early release time. They provided cake, and of course, lots of table tennis and chess matches.