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Julian Rodriguez, Servan Gomez and Abraham Garcia move rocks in the new "E" they built west of Eastmont Junior High School on Sept. 2. The 70-foot-wide symbol has a metal border and contains three kinds of rock. Rodriguez and his crew from Anderson Landscaping of Wenatchee took a week to put it together. The area around the emblem will have ballast rock over the ground and be fenced in. The hillside used to be covered in grass and has been a popular winter sledding area.

EAST WENATCHEE — A former grass-covered sledding hill near Eastmont Junior High School is gone, sacrificed to progress — and the need to expand and fence in a stormwater retention pond.

In its place is a sculpture — a 70-foot wide big "E" that took shape last week, formed with a metal ring and three kinds of rock.

A joint project between the Eastmont School District and the city of East Wenatchee, it is designed to break up what would otherwise just be a ballast rock hill.

Devon Pettit of RH2 Engineering said after completing the 10th Street N.E. project, which added parking for the ballfields and reconstructed the road, there had to be accommodation for stormwater.

“As part of that project, we partnered with the school and were able to get the water volume we needed by expanding the school pond rather than pursue other land acquisitions,” Pettit said.

One of the goals of the rock design project was to maintain some positive landscaping, Pettit said. Grass could not be maintained on the steeper grade.

Alternatives were considered for the landscaping and ultimately the big “E” was selected.

“We were already working there so the change in cost wasn’t much. This was something more aesthetic than just gray rock,” he said.


Tubers hike back up the hill for another run at Eastmont Junior High School on Saturday, Dec. 27, 2008.

Ian Dunn: (509) 664-7157