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Yuma High welding students and City of Yuma unveil North End ‘Welcome to Yuma’ sign

As part of National Public Works Week, the City of Yuma, in partnership with Yuma Union High School District, unveiled a new welcome sign near the northwest corner of 1st Street and 4th Avenue. Welcome to Yuma sign

The “mini-beautification project” was led by the City of Yuma Clean and Beautiful Commission with design and fabrication by welding students from Yuma High School under the direction of welding instructor Gonzalo Huerta.

Members of the city staff, including Mayor Doug Nichols, YUHSD leadership, Career & Technical Education personnel, Yuma High Principal Bob Chouinard and other faculty, and 20 Yuma welding students showed off the design publicly for the first time on Thursday, May 23, 2019 as part of a brief ceremony.

“It was a really great experience,” Yuma High welding student and CTE Ambassador Isaiah Gomez said. “It was a once in a lifetime experience. It’s been amazing. I’ll have made an impact in this community for the rest of my life.”

The project took several months to complete and is an homage to the Yuma Territorial Prison, which was home to Yuma High School more than a century ago. It includes a replica of the prison archway, and meticulously constructed cattails along one side of the sign. The City provided the landscaping materials. The students completed all of the welding, mostly from scrap metal.  

“It’s great to see. We’ve saved the entrance to North End sign for Yuma High,” Nichols said. “This is the fourth installation we’ve had in our community and it’s helped build our civic pride. We’ve had other projects that other organizations have done because they see this kind of investment and see the kind of pride that we have in our community to represent it well.”

The project was the fourth of its kind between YUHSD and the City of Yuma. In 2016, San Luis High School welders built the welcome sign across from Yuma International Airport. In 2017, Kofa High School welders completed the welcome sign on the corner of Avenue B and 32nd Street. And in 2018, Gila Ridge High School welders finished a steamboat-themed sign on 16th Street near Interstate 8.

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YHS welding students

Eric Patten
epatten@yumaunion.org