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Legacy Walk bricks build future for Valpo schools

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VALPARAISO — Football and soccer fans at Valparaiso High School will walk among legends with the opening of the new Legacy Walk.

So far, 318 personalized bricks have been placed on the Legacy Walk, with more to come in future years.

“We’ve been able to use this as an opportunity to gather the community together,” Valparaiso Community Schools Superintendent Jim McCall said late Tuesday at the ribbon cutting for the Legacy Walk.

McCall proposed the fundraiser to the Valpo Schools Foundation, which ran with it.

“What a beautiful facility we’ve helped put together here, foundation board President Lindsay Knauff said as the sunset provided a dramatic backdrop for the occasion.

Foundation Executive Director Molly Phelps said the fundraiser supports student scholarships, classroom grants, student athletic teams and clubs.

“As a result of this, $75,000 in scholarships and $50,000 in teacher grants have been awarded this school year alone,” Phelps said.

Phelps, a 1999 graduate, called the project a labor of love. “My blood runs Kelly green,” she said.

“There’s plenty of room for more bricks,” she pointed out. June 7 is the deadline to join the second wave.

The personalized bricks range from $200 for a 4 x 4-inch brick to $5,000 for a 16 x 16-inch brick. The Viking logo can be added for free. With larger bricks, a business or organization can be added for free.

Guidelines prohibit obscenities, profanities, derogatory messages and political messages.

But some cryptic, inspirational and humorous messages were allowed in the first round of bricks, including, “Win this one for the Krusty Krab!” and “#BELIKEKEEGAN” and “NERDFEST 87-91.”

“There’s got to be some inside stories,” Phelps said. “We had a lot of creativity.”

Lillie Ricker, a junior at VHS, laid beside the brick honoring her and her brother, a 2018 graduate, so her parents could photograph her. Lillie and her brother, Andrew, have been avid participants in the school’s improv group.

Knauff said the project began about a year ago and took hundreds of hours to bring to fruition. “It was a big effort,” she said.

“It was important that we get a good company so the bricks will last a long time,” Knauff said. A glossy coating over the laser engraving is included to make the message last for years to come.

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