Plans for commissioning a mural on the side of a School Street building in Island are underway, according to Friends of Island member Scott Hillard.
Hillard said Friends of Island is a group of Island residents that help facilitate projects in the downtown area.
“It’s just a community activist group that we get together and try to preserve what we consider downtown,” he said.
The mural, which is still in the planning process, is another effort by the group to enhance the area, according to Hillard. The art display marks the third mural on or near Main Street in addition to two others honoring veterans and Island heritage painted near Heritage Park off of Main and First streets.
The mural planned for the School Street building will serve as a memorial to the three schools previously operating out of Island, the first one from 1896 to 1931. The second, formerly located on School Street, ran from 1931 to 1955, and the third still standing on U.S. 431 that operated from 1955 to 1995.
The memorial site will include two plaques from the third school commemorating the first class attending the school in 1955. A marker was also donated that was originally placed by the last class in 1995. It was dedicated to those lost in the Oklahoma City Bombing that same year. The flag pole previously located at the third school on U. S 431 was also moved to the School Street mural site and has been donned with a U.S. flag for the first time in 25 years, Hillard said.
The mural will be painted by Steve Lane from Go Big Time Art out of Hanson. Hillard said it will likely incorporate historical references to what that section of Island was like in years past, including a possible reference to William Worthington, founder of Island who is buried along with his wife on a property near where the first school stood.
While there is still work to be done on the building where the mural will be painted, Hillard said Friends of Island hopes to get started while the weather is still cooperating. He said the painting process is not expected to take long once it is started.
The project will be commissioned by Friends of Island and funded by community donations, Hillard said.
“All of our projects we’ve done so far have come from donations from people of the community and … people that grew up here. They’ve always been supportive of anything we’ve done,” he said.
Hillard said the project has been aided by support from the City of Island, Island Community Development Association and two Island residents, Jackie Green and Jackie Smith who donated the plaques, as well as community donations.
Anyone wishing to make donations for the project can reach out to Hillard or the Friends of Island group through its Facebook page.
Christie Netherton, firstname.lastname@example.org, 270-691-7360