It’s a sign made of what it advertises. “Marion,” reads the new construction along US-56 at Timber Rd., and it’s built with leftover pieces of the city it stands in front of.
The brick-and-limestone monument-style sign features bright steel lettering. Bricks come from Williams St., north of Marion County Courthouse.
Limestone facing comes from Marion Municipal Airport, where USD 408 had been storing it since completing work on its Performing Arts Center, which features the same limestone.
“We thought that would really tie in nicely to the historic values of our town,” city administrator Roger Holter said. He said, in addition to the bricks, the sandstone-colored limestone is prevalent in many downtown buildings.
Contributions from area businesses are incorporated as well.
Lettering from Marion Manufacturing renders a design submitted by this newspaper.
Marion Economic Development Incorporated set the plan to construct a sign in motion before handing the reins to the city to complete it.
“A community has to make a first impression, and sometime their first impression is their sign,” MEDI member Mike Powers said. “If you pay attention to them as you drive around the state, you’ll see some signs probably do more harm than good. We definitely wanted to have something attractive.”
Holter said he was pleased with the product and credited the city’s public works crew for its effort in the installation.
“They’re real good at keeping the lights on, keeping the water running, keeping the sewers going out of here,” Holter said. “They’ve been kind of pushed in a direction doing projects they never have. They did construction on the park restrooms, and they did this project. I am proud of their accomplishments, I think it looks extremely professional.”
The masonry was done by Jack Boese of Frontier Construction.
Lighting will be installed to illuminate the sign at night.
Powers said the project took longer than MEDI had hoped but was worthwhile.
“It’s turning out wonderfully,” Powers said. “I think it’s going to be a great representation for the city.”