Brock welding students honored for building footbridge

Brock High School welding students collaborated with their instructors to build a bridge at Brock Intermediate School to help teachers get into the building during rainy days. The team was recognized with the Spirit of Brock Award at January’s school board meeting. 

Last week, Brock ISD board of trustees honored Brock High School welding students with a Spirit of Brock Award for creating a bridge to assist those walking into the intermediate school during rainy weather. 

Agriculture Science Coordinator Dave Marcath was approached by BISD Chief Financial Officer Mike McSwain about a solution to this issue, and Marcath determined that building a bridge would be feasible. The bridge is 30 feet long with a 4-foot-wide walkway, which was designed by a parent.

“It was a lot bigger than we had thought,” Marcath said. “That water comes through there a lot faster, and there’s a lot more water than we had imagined.”

Staff park behind the intermediate school and walk across a drainage ditch that gathers lots of water when it rains.

“Teachers had no way to get into the building that they weren’t having to tiptoe through water or even with the rains that we experienced [earlier this month] it was like knee-high water right there,” BISD Communications Director Natalie Parish said.

The team of about 20 students and their instructors gathered supplies, measured and cut the metal and wood, figured out angles, welded the pieces together, attached a railing and painted the bridge. They started the project in October and finished before Thanksgiving. The materials for the bridge cost less than $2,000, welding instructor Mark Sullivan said.

“If we would have hired someone to do that outside, it would’ve been a lot more expensive,” Sullivan said.

Since then, intermediate school teachers have sent videos to the agriculture teachers of the bridge in use, Sullivan said.

“We’ve seen the bridge in action and what a big help it was to the school,” Sullivan said.

Brock Intermediate School Principal Ingia Saxton said the staff was excited about the bridge and have since used it to cross the drainage area safely.

“The fact that this structure was developed and built by students in our district, many of whom were students at the campus in earlier years, exudes pride and a true sense of ownership for a job well done,” Saxton said.

The team of welding students said putting the bridge together to help people in their community felt good.

“I think it’s going to be really cool driving by whenever we’re older, looking back,” welding student Parker Parish said.

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