Some eagle-eyed students might have noticed last semester that the chrome SPC sign near the front entrance to the Levelland Campus off College Avenue suddenly disappeared for a few months.

Fret not, the metal structure has been returned, and it even has a new glow to it.

Ronnie Watkins, dean of administrative services at South Plains College, had the task of overseeing a project last semester that would bring new life to the chrome sculpture.  The installation, donated by Mike & Janna Worley and the employees of Worley Welding Works, Inc. of Levelland in 2009, was showing signs of rust and needed some slight repairs to restore its original sheen.

“It was an easy decision to get the sign repaired,” says Watkins.

The college takes great pride in the gift from Worley Welding Works and will continue to make repairs as needed to ensure the structure’s integrity, according to Watkins.

rustWhile the chrome was showing rust, this proactive step in maintenance helped alleviate the situation before it became irreversible.  The sign was carefully removed before being sent to Uma, Arizona for the re-chroming process.

The rust was purely cosmetic, and the sign showed no structural damage.

Watkins says that he wanted to ensure that the chrome would keep glistening for years to come.  With the installation being so large, it had to be taken apart to be able to fit the “chrome baths.” The entire process took from August 2017 to December, a little less than five months.   

Watkins has a particular connection to the SPC sculpture.  He had worked at Worley Welding Works, Inc. when the piece was designed and built.  Having such a connection to the sign left no doubt in his mind that Worley Wielding Works needed to be the ones in charge of its restoration.

With a team of people who are so familiar with the original design, the restoration process brought the once rusted structure to a “like new” condition.

Posted by Kyle Ewing

I am a sophmore preparing to transfer to Texas Tech in the Fall. Currently, I am a photographer and writer for the Plainsmen Press at South Plains College.

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