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Zane Middle School sundial rectangle benches

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ENGR215 Project Page in Progress
This page is a project page in progress by students in Engr215. Please refrain from making edits unless you are a member of the project team, but feel free to make comments using the discussion tab. Check back for the finished version on May 17th, 2019.



These benches were designed for Zane Middle School in order to make the front of the school more welcoming and give students a place to sit to wait for their parents to pick them up. Previously, the desolate squares near the parking lot were full of wood chips being tracked all over campus and creating a mess. Our team, Sunset Society, designed these benches with reused materials in order to promote sustainability and create a fun look that would entice students to use the seating.


Catherine Zane Middle School in Eureka, CA is home to a diverse group of students whom follow a rigorous curriculum focused on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). In an effort to promote STEAM education, the Environmental Resource Engineering department at Humboldt State University has been granted the opportunity to take on design projects to improve the school. A previous team built a human sundial on the foreground of the school, however the landscaping has since had some issues and an employee at the school, Trevor Hammons, is interested in improving and beautifying the sundial square area.

Problem statement and criteria[edit]

The front of Zane Middle School lacked an area for students to congregate.

Criteria Weight Constraints
Safety 10 Usable my middle school students without risking injury.
Durability 8 Must be sturdy enough for prolonged use and be weather resistant.
Cost 5 Should cost under $150 per bench.
Aesthetics 9 Must be visibly appealing.
Mobility 7 Should help direct smooth flow through the sundial rectangle area.
Educational Value 2 Should incite student learning about reused materials.

Description of final project[edit]

The final Sundial Square Beautification landscaping includes pathways made with a mold surrounding a PVC bench. There is one PVC bench in each square next to the piece of sidewalk with the sundial engraved on it. Each bench is made with a wooden frame that has a decorative PVC pipe skirt surrounding each edge. The pathways are strategically placed to prevent the ground from being worn in the areas where children will access the benches. The ground is also shaped in a way to prevent puddles from forming in the rectangles of ground.

Include a how to use and maintain section. See the how to template below.



Quantity Material Source Cost ($) Total ($)
1 Flat Wall Brush Hensels Ace Hardware 4.99 4.99
1 Oil Varnish Hensels Ace Hardware 7.99 7.99
1 2"x4"x8' Hensels Ace Hardware 22.96 22.96
1 Nuts and Bolts Hensels Ace Hardware 3.78 3.78
1 5' of 2" PVC Hensels Ace Hardware 5.95 5.95
1 Street Signs Arcata Scarp & Salvage 20.00 20.00
1 Feeling Groovy Stepping Stones Hensels Ace Hardware Donated Donated
2 Quickcrete (50lbs) Hensels Ace Hardware Donated Donated
1 Potting Soil Hensels Ace Hardware Donated Donated
1 Stepping Stone Mold Hensels Ace Hardware Donated Donated
8 20ft of 2 inch PVC Keenan Supply Donated Donated
Total Cost $45.67

How to build[edit]

Simplified bench construction
Abundant supply of PVC Step 1 : Accurately measure out PVC for skirt.
cutting PVC Step 2 : Cut the PVC
Assemblimg skirt Step 3 : Assemble skirt
Members of Sunset Society attaching legs to skirt Step 4 : Attach legs to PVC skirt
Attaching legs to foundation Step 5 : Attach legs to foundation
Screwing decking material to top Step 6 : Screw decking material to top


The benches and pathways will need occasional maintenance if dirt and or wood chips get blown around on the side walk.


This is when to maintain what:

  • Sweep off the pathways
  • Rinse the bench tops and PVC

  • Replace any bolts that may have come loose over the year

Every 10 years
  • Replace wood if needed
  • Replace any cracking PVC


Sunset Society Poster.png


Suggestions for future changes[edit]

We did not have sufficient project time to pour concrete for the durable pathways that we originally intended. A future improvement on the Sundial Rectangle benches would be clear pathways to direct traffic flow around the benches and possibly some plants or shrubs for landscaping.


See Help:Footnotes for more.