Senior creates memorial for CGCSC students and staff


Richie Arkanoff stands in front of his Eagle Scout project at the Center Grove Educational Services Building.

Graham Kanwit, Website Editor

When a member of the school system passes away, it can affect countless people in the community. Over time, the CGCSC has memorialized these individual members with benches, plaques and planted trees. Unfortunately, many of these monuments have been affected by construction projects near the schools, either by being lost, damaged or relocated.

“The construction in 2016 and 2017 caused a lot of problems,” senior Richie Arkanoff said. “A lot of [the memorials] did get lost.”

Arkanoff says he wanted to create a new memorial in a centralized place. That’s why he decided to create a monument outside the Education Service Center as part of his Eagle Scout project. 

In order to create the memorial and make it sustainable, Arkanoff had to raise $3,000 in donations. He exceeded this amount by $170 and was able to start the project in 2017. 

The memorial is in the shape of a tree, with perforated stainless steel mesh surrounding an unfinished steel frame. It is adorned with leaves that will honor students and staff who passed away while active members of the community (either enrolled in school or employed).

“I just really wanted my Eagle Project to be something meaningful that would have a large impact on the community,” Arkanoff said. 

Arkanoff says many Eagle projects focus more on helping the beneficiary than providing meaningful benefits to community members. While the project does help the school in creating a unified memorial, Arkanoff says his project primarily focuses on the families and friends of former students and staff.

“When you lose someone, that has a big impact on the families of those people and in the community around them,” Arkanoff said. “It’s important for the community to be able to celebrate and remember that life.”

The memorial will be dedicated on Thursday, August 15 at 5:00.

More information is available at the Center Grove School Corporation website.