Beam Signing Adds Structure, History to New Intermediate School

Students and community members of all ages came together to sign a structural beam that will soon be placed in the renovated Intermediate School.

Through cooperation between school administration and Gilbane construction company, the decision was made to allow students and community members to sign their name on the beam to engage them in the renovation project. through this alternative time capsule.

“It’s an opportunity for the community – everybody gets to say that they had a part in it. Whether it’s students already gone through there or students that will go to the new school, I feel like this gives everyone an opportunity to get involved,” said Chagrin Falls Director of Operations and Strategic Initiatives, Mr. Chris Woofter.

Students had the opportunity to sign the orange-painted beam during school on September 6, and community members had the chance to sign at the third annual Lenny May Booster Tailgate party the evening of September 7.

Many teachers saw the value in this opportunity and took full classes down to sign the beam.

“I took down a group of students of mixed ages to sign the beam because I just think it’s so special to have a little piece of all of us hidden in that building. Especially because the high schoolers won’t get to experience being students there. With the beam they still get to be a part of it all,” explained high school English teacher Mrs. Jean Kanzinger.

The beam signing received a great reception from students and members of the community alike. In total, over 2,000 people signed the beam to forever, and will forever be part of the Intermediate School for decades to come.  

“I thought the whole idea of it is pretty cool. Obviously, the Intermediate School needed some work, but I feel like this is a good way to keep some of its legacy moving forward. Everyone has memories from the Intermediate School, and now it almost feels like they’ll always be part of the school,” said senior Livi Harmat, who signed the beam with her photojournalism class.

The beam has been transported back to the construction site of the Intermediate School on September 11. The 24-foot long steel autograph display will serve as the foundation for the new cafeteria, in front of what is now the auditorium. Despite the aesthetic appeal, the beam will be behind a wall and not visible.

“Even though it will always be there, people can’t actually see the beam, but we’ll have a photo of it and it should be a neat reminder for the school of the great history and legacy it has,” added Woofter.

From outside the community, some might just see a brightly painted steel beam essential to the structure of a new school, but to the people of this community, the signing of the beam helps preserve history for years to come.

“It’s such a unique building, I think with the memories people have of the school, and that now some elements of that school will be gone, I think there’s something special about having our names on a piece of the structure that reminds us that the past students will always be a part of that school,” said Kanzinger.