Education

What's the deal with that big chair outside North High?

North High senior Victor Lerma stands on a large chair he created for the school for his senior project. Lerma loves woodworking and wants to be a carpenter after he graduates. (April 23, 2018)
North High senior Victor Lerma stands on a large chair he created for the school for his senior project. Lerma loves woodworking and wants to be a carpenter after he graduates. (April 23, 2018) The Wichita Eagle

When Victor Lerma was deciding what to do for his senior project at North High School, he had two thoughts:

He wanted to show off his carpentry and woodworking skills. And he wanted to go big.

"I wanted something big to leave a mark," said Lerma, 18, who will graduate from North High next month. "And I wanted it to be something everybody can enjoy."

The result? The Redskin Chair — a giant chair similar to ones you see at amusement parks and tourist destinations — painted red-and-white and emblazoned with North High's Redskin mascot. Lerma and a team of helpers recently installed the chair on the school's east lawn.

Lerma envisions North High students, alumni and families having fun with the chair, taking photos atop it and posting them on social media. He created a Twitter account and hashtag (#RedskinChair) to track the activity.

Lerma said he spent about 40 hours designing, building and painting the chair. A local Lowe's home improvement store donated the supplies, worth more than $1,000, he said. The chair made its debut at a North High open house earlier this month.

"I just want people to enjoy it as long as it lasts — just have a lot of pictures on it, have fun with it," he said. "That's why we came up with the Twitter account, so everybody can just share the experience and . . . their school pride."

Lerma studied carpentry and woodworking in high school and hopes to continue that career path as an apprentice after graduation, he said.

The big chair likely will stay near North High's main entrance for the remainder of the school year. During the summer months, crews may move it to a fenced area behind the school, Lerma said.

"It was a lot of work, but I had fun building it," he said.

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