558 N. Main St., Prineville, OR 97754 | (541) 447-6205
Solid places to sit
A local leadership project results in 15 concrete benches for Crook County
Joe Floyd (left) of Joe Floyd and Sons operates the crane lifting one of the new benches into place in front of the Crook County Courthouse. Rich Blank (center) and Seth Crawford steady the bench as it is lowered into place. The benches were placed around town on Wednesday last week, as part of a project done as part of a local leadership course.
January 21, 2013
When a local leadership class gathered to decide on a class project to benefit Crook County and teach leadership skills, they considered about 30 ideas.
In the end, the 26 local classmates decided to adorn their community with decorative concrete benches.
“We decided on the benches as a way to build a foundation and a theme that future classes can hopefully build on,” said class member Lisa Morgan.
The classmates were asked to complete the project as part of a leadership course provided by the Ford Family Foundation, a private, non-profit organization that originated in Roseburg, Ore. in 1957. The Foundation manages large, internal initiatives and makes grants to public charities predominantly benefiting communities in rural Oregon and Siskiyou County, Calif.
The classmates decided to build 12 benches for Prineville and one each for Powell Butte, Post, and Paulina. After they picked their project, the group formed two subcommittees to research what materials would best fit the job.
“We thought we would go with concrete,” Morgan said, “because they would last quite a bit longer than a metal and wood bench.”
Although they settled on concrete, a first glance at one of the benches might leave you thinking they are made of wood. The class intentionally designed the benches to resemble its color and texture.
Local concrete company Joe Floyd and Sons built the benches from molds that yielded a wooden texture and included an outline of Crook County and a replica of the City Hall plaza Maverick statue.
Next, members of the class painted each one with a special two-part paint that gives the concrete a wooden look to match its texture.
“It’s almost like faux finishing,” classmate Steve Holliday said. “You paint the whole thing one (dark) color, and then go over the top with the light color, skipping across the high points.”
When they finished the work, Joe Floyd and Sons personnel helped place the approximately 1,000-pound decorations throughout the community.
After completing their project, the classmates felt satisfied with the work they accomplished together.
“I think they look great,” Holliday said of the benches. “The whole group, I don’t think there was anyone who was disappointed with how they looked.”
Morgan agreed and felt that the project also helped them improve upon the leadership skills they had learned throughout their class.
“I am so proud of this class and the people who were in it from the beginning to the end,” she said. “I think that everyone did a fabulous job in the parts that they had in the whole process, and I think everybody came out with improved skills from going through this, and it’s just a really good feeling to see the community — as they always do since I have lived here — come together and get things done like that.”