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New sculpture ready for placement at school


Artist Virgil "Smoker" Marchand stands with his "Raider" sculpture to be placed at Lake Roosevelt Schools this summer. - submitted photo

A new metal sculpture called "Raider" will soon stand near the entrance to the new school complex in Coulee Dam.

The Grand Coulee Dam School District's art committee had hoped to have the sculpture placed before school was out but it will have to wait a few more weeks before all the things are in place.

The 7-foot high metal work was created by Virgil "Smoker" Marchand cost $12,500, part of some $70,000 worth of public art that will eventually be associated with the new school.

Marchand said Raider is finished and awaits its concrete base and a final determination on placement. The funds for the sculpture will come from those raised by the Grand Coulee Dam Rotary Club.

Lori Adkins, art instructor at Lake Roosevelt Jr/Sr High School, and chair of the special art committee, said the sculpture will be placed during the summer school break. The exact spot hasn't been selected, but she thought it would end up near the entrance to the school.

Marchand just recently completed the mascot sculpture made from metal three-sixteenths of an inch or one-eighth of an inch thick.

Marchand said he is anxious to get the sculpture placed. It was partially developed, and welded in Marchand's uncle's shop in Omak and now stands at his home ready for transport to its new home.

The sculpture features the Lake Roosevelt logo both on the vest and hat Marchand has created.

Marchand is already well known for many nearby sculptures - the eight women digging roots just north of Belvedere, his Sasquatch on Disautel Pass and his bighorn sheep overlooking Omak Lake on the River Road. He just recently agreed to do a piece of sculpture for the city of Spokane.

Grand Coulee Dam School District Superintendent Dennis Carlson said late last week that the school's architectural firm, Design West, has supplied the plans for the base, and the district will either get a local contractor or do the installation work themselves.

Marchand said the design was made more difficult by the way the piece was welded together.

Marchand's Raider will hold a book symbolizing education in one hand and carry the school banner in the other.

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