Phelps students turn snowbanks into sculptures, building on creativity and camaraderieSubmitted: 02/14/2019
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director

Phelps students turn snowbanks into sculptures, building on creativity and camaraderie
PHELPS - Growing up in Phelps, Andrew Gill knows a thing or two about snow.

"It's powdery this year," Gill told us outside his high school on Thursday.

The senior class president and basketball player also knows a thing or two about winning.

"It's definitely, mostly, [about the] competition," Gill said.

But artwork? Not so much.

"No, I'm sort of letting them do their thing and trying to get some tips," Gill said.

Gill relied on his teammates -- four senior girls -- to help design their "snow horse." It was one of seven sculptures that students carved out in the Phelps school parking lot Thursday afternoon.  Others included a smiley face emoji, a campfire, and a model of the school building.

"Oh yeah, this was always fun as a little kid," Gill said.

The snow sculpting competition goes back years. Sixth through 12th graders work with their classes on designs. Then, they spend about 90 minutes creating their sculptures using shovels, garden tools, and paint.

Social studies teacher and student council adviser Kevin Grafwallner explained this was more than just a day of fun.

"It can be a little chaotic when you have so many kids outside doing one specific thing, but the kids love being outside, out the classroom and our staff members like enjoying the weather and seeing them work together," Grafwallner said.

"You get kids to work together as a team, communicate together and then create an awesome final product."

Crafting these products was delayed from its usual period in January this year, mainly because winter wasn't a team player. There wasn't enough snow until about a foot of it fell on Tuesday.

"Absolutely, it made for a great day and today's beautiful also," Grafwallner said.

Phelps teachers and staff voted on the winner, choosing the juniors' model of the school buidling. That class will get a pizza party thanks to the student council.

Gill hopes some of the younger students remember this day -- win or lose -- as he does.

"In a school this small, it's important to be close with your classmates because you're going to be with them, like your whole life, pretty much," Gill said.

Grafwallner says the school will try to protect the sculptures at least until parent-teacher conferences on Monday.

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