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A big bear sculpture greets Glacier Peak Grizzlies

Lillyana Brastad photo

Students designed, and contributors built, the big bear that’s at the school entry doors.

SNOHOMISH — At Glacier Peak High School, students are greeted by a 9-foot-tall grizzly bear statue, bringing smiles to student’s faces and showing off Grizzly pride.
The statue was designed by the school’s STEM club during the 2019-2020 school year. Building the bear was made possible by OSW Equipment and Repair, HLB Custom Fabrications, and Gaffney Construction.
Harry L. Baird, owner of HLB Custom Fabrications, and Jay DeNoma, owner of OSW Equipment and Repair, donated the materials to construct the bear.
“It was built in my shop in Sultan, HLB Custom Fabrication,” Baird said. “The parts were cut by a plasma CAD machine at OSW Equipment. The material used is 3/16 core 10 plate.”
Weighing approximately 1,000 pounds, the metal bear was no easy build. Glacier Peak students spent countless hours planning and designing the bear. COVID-19 greatly affected the work: The final details of the design had to be worked out completely remotely, and for a short while, the students thought this would prevent the project from going anywhere. Luckily, Baird and DeNoma stepped in to help the project move forward.
In his Sultan shop, Baird and his team spent around 150 hours welding the statue.
“It went together like a 9-foot puzzle, lots of index points and measurements,” Baird said.
It fit about 80% correctly and the other 20% was very
challenging! (It was a) very cool project and idea though. I took it on for the challenge and the donation to the school.”
Installation day on Jan. 25 was a monumental day, especially for 2020 Glacier Peak graduate Keegan Gaffney. He was one of the STEM students who designed the statue, along with Colton Olheiser, Daniel Bruno, Tony McDaniel and Max Chen. Although the bear was not completed by the end of his senior year, Gaffney is thankful that the project ended up being completed and that it is seen every day by Glacier Peak students.
“It was so rewarding seeing it all come together and be finished. It was 4 years in the making from the conception of the idea to completion, we were happy it was done.” Gaffney said.




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