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Eagle Scout Jacob Bettinger building an outdoor waiting structure for students at bus stop in Lovington

Donations still needed to complete project

By ARIANA R. CHERRY
Staff Writer

Eagle Scout and upcoming senior at ALAH, Jacob Bettinger and his mother would often notice students waiting outside in the elements in Lovington for the bus – especially during frigid cold winters and rainy weather. These were often students who weren’t able to wait with their parents or had to walk over to wait. Jacob’s mom suggested to him that perhaps it would be ideal if the students had some type of shelter to stand in while they had to wait on the bus.

Back in February, Jacob presented his project to the school board. He informed them that the bus stop would measure about 6 foot by 12 feet wide. The plan was to fit about 10-12 students in it. To be more cost effective, he wanted to have it built instead of paying for a pre-built one.

Jacob had done some research and found out that prebuilt ones cost around $6,000 and he could build one for half of that amount. During his presentation, he was hoping to spread the word so that he could gather sponsors, donations and volunteers to help build. Superintendent Shannon Cheek had let him know that he supported the idea.

Presently, Jacob noted that he had been in contact with a company in New York and has started the kit building process. The enclosure will cost $3,945. The structure will be built on site. He and his father did look into different structure designs, but due to rising costs amid the COVID19 pandemic, the cost wasn’t all that different. Before assembling the structure, a concrete pad will be needed, which will be a little over $200.

In the past three weeks, Jacob has received $825 in donations. Other organizations have pledged as well, and will hopefully double what he has now. Thanks to his mother, she has helped create a spreadsheet to track all of the donations and those who contributed to the project.

There are still other items that are needed to build the structure though. Some of those items include wood for the framing the concrete pad (7 foot x 13 foot by 6 inch thick), reinforcing mesh for the concrete and 24 anchors (size ¼ x 1 7/8 Hilti Kwik HUS-EZ. All of these items can be purchased at Home Depot and Lowes.

It has been decided that the structure will reside at the west edge of the parking lot where the Lovington High School gym once was. Jacob has a goal of having the structure completed by the end of September for the new school year.

If you would like to help donate monetarily to help build and complete Jacob’s Eagle Scout Project, they can be sent to P.O. Box 584, Lovington, IL 61937.

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