Bearcat statue could be added to SHS project

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
An artist rendering from 2018 shows designs for the new Sherman High School including a statue. The school board approved a request for qualifications this month for the construction of a beatcar statue that will be included in the new campus

As construction of the new $157 million Sherman High School nears completion, Sherman Independent School District officials are turning their attention to highlighting the legacy and heritage of the school through imagery and branding.

The SISD Board recently approved a request to solicit for qualifications for the construction of a new statue that will sit in the school's foyer and greet students as they enter the school each day. 

The request comes in the final days of the construction of the new high school, which is expected to open to students in early January. As the project has approached the finish line, the district has increased its attention to the graphics package, which includes signage, aesthetic design and branding efforts within the new campus.

"We've had – as a part of our graphics package – that spot for a bearcat statue, but we are going to get more specific services to help design that statue and produce that statue for the high school," SISD Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations Tyson Bennett said.

In late October, the district approved the addition of more than $300,000 to the budget for the project for graphics package items. 

The purpose of the statue is to highlight the history and heritage of the high school, and its previous iterations, in the new campus. The school itself has a long history, and the identity of the bear cat is a long-established part of that, Bennett said.

The idea for the statue has been an ongoing part of the construction project, Bennett said. A small, circular spot in the floor of the foyer marks where the statue will be placed and will provide power to it.

Many of the details of the statue, including its budget and design, will be determined in the bidding process and negotiations with the contractor who will construct it, Bennett said. 

However, the district will likely use a material that is resistant to weather so that the statue could be moved outdoors at some point.

"We are looking at something that is more of a cement-like material and the reason why is flexibility to be indoor or outdoors," Bennett said.

Bennett hopes to have the statue completed and ready for installation some time in March or April.