WILLISTON, N.D. - Williston State College is pleased to announce that its campus beautification project is running on schedule. With the first project, which included landscaping the front of Stevens Hall and the placement of a heroic size statue of Sitting Bull, ready to be unveiled on July 16, phase two of the project has already begun.
Williston artist Dave Njos will be creating a Lewis and Clark-themed statue to be placed near the new science wing, which will be added on to the north end of Stevens Hall, overlooking Rabon Field. Groundbreaking for the new wing is scheduled for July 20, with it being ready for occupancy in the fall of 2012.
According to Richard Stenberg, Assistant Professor of History and a member of the Campus Beautification Committee, "Since this is a science wing, we should have something commemorating science and the surveying that has been done in our area. Lewis and Clark were sent to survey and chart the river, and that is what Clark, who was the navigator and cartographer, did."
He added that later on the in the course of the 19th century, surveying brought about the establishment of the Fort Buford Military Reservation, which was surveyed by the army; the railroads which passed through our area, including the Great Northern. In the later years of the 19th Century, the Corps of Engineers surveyed the river for navigation purposes; and then the land office was opened in Williston for homesteaders filing their claims, which meant more surveys.
"Of course in the later years, you had surveying done for the search for oil in the area," he said. "That was the push for a science-themed sculpture."
Njos, who has done a number of projects for WSC and for the community of Williston, said that when he heard about the sculpture projects, he had a vision for the science wing sculpture and approached WSC President Raymond Nadolny.
"The one for the science building came to me right away and I told him I'd be interested in doing that one," Njos said.
At this time, he is thinking of a double life-size sculpture featuring various navigation equipment used by the Lewis and Clark expedition such as a sextant, a compass, etc.; Clark's desk with a photo of the map he made of this area, an ink bottle with a feather quill sticking out of it, and possibly having Clark's hat hanging on the corner of the table.
"This project is in relation to the addition of our science wing," said Nadolny. "Because the Lewis and Clark Expedition was the United States' first scientific expedition, we wanted a monument to commemorate that experience in our history and in our area."