Woodlake gets a face lift with new sign
By Paul Myers
woodlake – The landmark sign of Woodlake out at the corner of Highway 245 and Highway 198, or to locals known as Spruce and 198, has been taken down. For years, the sign served as a landmark for anyone trying to find their way to Woodlake, or anywhere else along 198. But there is no reason to worry. Because just as quickly as it was taken down, it seemed that its replacement went right up.
“The sign has always been a landmark. You always say, ‘when you reach the sign you know you’re going in the right direction’,” Woodlake valley chamber of commerce president Rudy Garcia said.
Over a year ago the Woodlake valley chamber of commerce spearheaded the project to replace the sign. A large portion of the funds to replace it came from a chamber-held raffle, the chamber and the community. Garcia as well, in his remarks before unveiling the sign, gave credit to the partners that made it all possible.
“We had to start from scratch and because of the [Woodlake Kiwanis, KRC Safety, and Woodlake chamber members] we were able to do this in a year,” Garcia said.
Chris Parker, supervisor of the graphics department at KRC Safety Co. said that they started working on the project around Jan. 1 of this year, after being approached by the chamber in late December. But it was not only the look of the sign that the company was tasked with. They also needed to make it functional.
Garcia noted that the sign before did not have lights. At night it was difficult to see, and a difficult landmark to point to. This new sign now has lights powered by solar panels that are perched at the top.
“It’s been a fun few month in the making. This is a project that they had specific guidelines on and it was neat,” Parker said. “It was a lot of work though getting it retrofitted for the [solar] panels.”
According to Parker the panels are connected to their own power box behind the sign. By locating them on the sign the risk of damage and vandalism is largely decreased. But the panels were not the longest part of the job. Parker added that had it not been for the heavy rain this year they could have gotten it done by March. But nonetheless a small crowd of residents, children and council members turned out for last Friday’s reveal.
Councilmember Francis Ortiz noted that the new sign is a forward way of looking for the entire city.
“It’s kind of exciting because I’m looking toward the future and Woodlake is looking toward the future,” Ortiz said. “I appreciate everyone coming out to show their support…these guys did a heck of a job.”
While the sign is forward looking, the Chamber actually tried to keep the old sign. Unfortunately, according to Garcia, the wood was too rotted to refurbish. However 20 years ago that was not the case. The chamber, who originally put up the sign approximately 40 years ago, managed to clean and keep the sign until now.