The Orion

A.S. to build bronze wildcat statue

Madison Holmes

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A $160,000 wildcat statue from the University of New Hampshire that the Associated Students is using as an example to illustrate the one they want to build for Chico State. Students and non-students will be able to submit designs for the statue and vote on the one they like the most. Photo courtesy of the Associated Students.

A wildcat statue will likely be built and completed by the beginning of Fall 2015.

The new statue will cost between $40,000 and $300,000, none of which will come from student fees, said Taylor Herren, Chico State’s Associated Students president.

Approximately $130,000 has been accumulated for the statue. The money was donated by the following organizations:

  • $50,000 by the Alumni Association, $25,000 of which is from their Campus Beautification fund, a fund that designates money to improve campus aesthetics.
  • $10,000 by the athletics department.
  • $20,000 by the university.
  • $10,000 by the A.S.

The A.S. is discussing contributing an additional $40,000 pending a vote.

Contrary to popular belief, the statue will be a realistic wildcat, not Willie the Wildcat, Herren said.

“We’ve jokingly been calling the statue William and that may have confused some people,” she said. “Can you imagine a Willie the Wildcat statue on this campus? It would look ridiculous.”

As of now, the statue will be bronze and installed in the high-traffic area in the core of campus, Herren said. The location of the statue and what it will be made of will be decided by the Campus Public Art Committee at a public meeting Oct. 14.

Herren said non-student artists will be able to submit designs for the statue. After the best of those submissions are chosen, students will get to vote on the one they like the most.

“We thought about hiring a student, but the construction of the statue will span over six months and will take over 300 hours, which is too much for a student taking classes,” Herren said.

The physical statue will take about six months to build, with the installation completed over summer 2015. The statue should be fully completed and standing by fall 2015.

The Associated Students have the funds to build the statue because of leftover money from years past and the $1 million signing bonus from the Follet contract, Herren said.

The money from the contract cannot be given to Chico State organizations because it’s not annual funding, according to Herren. It’s a one-time funding which should be spent on a one-time project.

“We could have used the money to paint the office or throw a concert,” Herren said, “This money is not a part of the operating budget or student fees.”

A big reason why the A.S. wants a statue is to boost school spirit, Herren said.

“I see this statue standing for the wildcat way,” she said. “You’re not a wildcat from eight to five while you’re on campus. You are a wildcat all the time, embodying those values and qualities 24/7.

“So much of my job is reactive,” Herren said. “It’s nice to do something that’s proactive and for the students.”

Madison Holmes can be reached at: [email protected] or @madisonholmes95 on Twitter.

Correction: In an early version of this article, The Orion misstated that A.S. had contributed $50,000 to the project when they’ve only approved $10,000.

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A.S. to build bronze wildcat statue