An ongoing community effort in Montgomery is changing the way people see WVU Tech from the moment they cross over the Montgomery Bridge.
A new welcome wall greets campus visitors at the site of the former co-ed dormitory. The $30,000 wall is being funded by the Tech Golden Bear Alumni Association by selling pavers for $100 that will include personal messages. The pavers will be installed on the back of the wall.
"We have taken on this project because we see this as a way to create a legacy for all of us that love Tech," said Steve Claywell, president of the Tech Golden Bear Alumni Association, in a statement. "With this project, our names will be forever linked with Tech through a one-time donation to the school that has taught us so much."
Tara Hines, alumni relations coordinator at WVU Tech, said there has been a tremendous response from alumni and community members alike. She said 285 of the 330 pavers have been sold.
"We've had parents who have bought their kids bricks, and family of alumni who have bought a brick in memory for someone," Hines said. "It's been incredible, the amount of response that we've been able to get from this."
Hines said many local businesses are also getting involved with the welcome wall. She said a pair of volunteers has been taking order forms to businesses every week in an attempt to raise funds for the school.
The project began early in 2013, when WVU Tech engineering students made the first draft of the wall design. Tech alumnus Ed Robinson, owner of E.L. Robinson Engineering of Charleston, donated his services to finalize the design and create a rendering of the wall, and Tech alumnus John Jarrett, owner of Jarrett Construction in Charleston, donated his services to build the wall. Construction of the wall began in September, and the wall was unveiled in October during Homecoming weekend.