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Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Welcome pole welcomes people at West View Recreation Center

Welcome pole welcomes people at West View Recreation Center

Willkommen! Bienvenido! Chao mung! Zoo siab txais! It all means, “welcome,” which visitors to West View Recreation Center should feel thanks to the new “welcome pole” in the front garden.

The city installed welcome banners and signs in multiple languages in city facilities last year. However, West View Guest Relations Clerk Molina Vaughn wanted something more permanent to show how committed the city was to making residents feel welcome.

“I felt that installing a permanent structure would really convey the idea of being a welcoming facility,” said Vaughn.

Vaughn discussed the idea with Recreation Supervisor Chuck Scerbo to bring the idea to life. The pole would say “welcome” in the top seven languages spoken in the city and would evoke the concept of peace poles.

“It was a great idea that [Vaughn] came up with,” said Scerbo. “Once we all agreed on the design, she contacted a carving instructor who has held classes at our recreation facilities, Joe Sikora.”

Vaughn worked with Sikora on the size and design. It took seven months from initial design to production with the pole installed in October 2018.

City golf maintenance staff took pavers out of the flower bed and cemented the pole in its spot in front of West View Recreation Center. City staff from the greenhouse also landscaped the area and parking lot islands to match the entrance flower bed. A solar-powered light was installed on top of the pole so it can be seen at night.

The preschool class held at West View joined in the welcoming display by painting rocks to place around the pole.

“Every year, we plan for the preschool class to decorate rocks, place them around the welcome pole, and then take them home at the end of the school year,” said Vaughn.

“We’re very happy with how it looks,” said Scerbo. “The preschoolers’ parents hang out in that space and we feel that the city is more welcoming because of the pole.”

“Scerbo understood my vision for the community and encouraged me to follow it through,” said Vaughn. “I’m glad I was able to bring this project to life and, if even one person has felt more welcome and proud to be in Westminster, the welcome pole has done its job.”

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