The bobber water tower has been an icon of Pequot Lakes for the last 30 years. Most students at Pequot Lakes schools have grown up with the bobber as a symbol for their town. Now those students are making it their own.
Pequot Lakes art teacher Dan Devine tasked all 124 of his middle and high school students with collaborating on a clay coil sculpture of the water tower during homecoming week.
The project, Devine said, was designed to get students to pull their minds together and think "about what Pequot Lakes is about, our school, our town."
The sculpture's base is full of small clay trinkets students made to represent what Pequot Lakes means to them.
"Whether it's a heart that says 'home' on it or a volleyball or a basketball or a football or just different activities that they do - art club, drama," Devine said.
In addition to sports symbols and hearts, other objects on the sculpture include music notes, feathers, animals, hunting and fishing symbols and even a fidget spinner.
Devine encouraged students to add anything of significance to them and hoped that, as a result, they would understand "how they are important to be a part of the community, to be doing what they're doing and what they have passions for and hopefully as they grow up to continue to be a healthy asset to our society."
The students seemed grasp Devine's intention.
"I think the coolest thing about it is that we're basically doing something that's representing us and the school's personality," sophomore Ghage Berger said.
Freshman Erik Larson added: "It's pretty neat how it's actually a mini model of our water tower, which is the symbol, basically, of our town. That's what everybody thinks of when they first hear 'Pequot Lakes.'"
Aside from his art classes, Devine welcomed any other interested students or staff members to add to the sculpture.
"Others have been walking in," he said. "The math department came in and did a little right angle on there."
In total, about 150 people contributed to the sculpture, which should be complete within the next month and a half, Devine said, after it dries out and is fired. After that, he's not sure where it will go. One idea is to move the tower around and put it on display at community education events, but its final resting place is still up in the air.
No matter where the sculpture goes, seventh-grader Kiley Newton, who worked on the coils and the "Pequot Lakes" letters, is excited about what it might stand for in the future.
"I think when it's finished, for years to come people can come see it. And even us when we get older, we can come back and see all these things that we made together and we just created as a whole school," Newton said.