'Dramatic' entrance signs going up

Artist Nigel Wilson (left), civil engineer Russell Anderson (centre) and Alexandra Promotions...
Artist Nigel Wilson (left), civil engineer Russell Anderson (centre) and Alexandra Promotions chairman Shayne Hitchcock install the first of the three signs near Aronui Rd yesterday. Photo by Liam Cavanagh.

Visitors and residents arriving in Alexandra will be welcomed by brand-new entrance signs this week.

Work began yesterday on the first two signs - one at the entrance coming from Roxburgh and the other near the golf course coming from Clyde.

The third one will be installed in Manuherikia Rd tomorrow.

Keep Alexandra Clyde Beautiful group member Karin Bowen said the new signs had been three years in the making and would provide a ''dramatic'' entrance to the town for road users.

The rusted steel sheet signs were reminiscent of the history of the town, she said.

The ''thought'' behind the signs was to let visitors entering the town know ''this is where we are''.

Designed by artist Nigel Wilson, the signs were the result of collaboration between community groups, volunteers and local businesses.

Previous proposed signs mocked up and displayed at the Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery for community feedback were rejected, but the signs installed this week had received only positive support, Mrs Bowen said.

Built by Anderson Engineering, they would be lit with solar-powered spotlights, which would be connected later in the week.

The signs cost $24,000, with $14,000 of that coming from the Central Otago District Council and $9500 from Pub Charity.

Mr Wilson said the design had ''both the historic and contemporary look which makes it timeless''.

Landscaper and Keep Alexandra Clyde Beautiful group member Susan Mort said the signs would incorporate schist and thyme, as well as coprosma and olearia shrubs.

Also assisting with the project were technical advisers, construction consultant Roy Faris and civil engineer Murray Petherick.

Community groups involved in the entrance sign project were Alexandra Promotions, the Alexandra Clyde Business Group, the Alexandra Lions Club, Alexandra Rotary Club, Keep Alexandra Clyde Beautiful, the Alexandra Community Planning Group, the council and the Vincent Community Board.

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