MILLTOWN, Del. (DelawareOnline.com) -- For the Red Clay School District, Monday evening was literally one for the record books.
months of work in classrooms across the district and a few days of
painstaking engineering, a stack of LEGO bricks towers high over John
Dickinson High School outside of Wilmington.
made out of more than 500,000 of the small plastic bricks. It weighs
almost a ton. And it's exactly 112 feet, 11 ¾inches tall.
more than 10-story height makes it officially the tallest structure
made of interlocking toy bricks ever built, according to the Guinness
Book of World Records.
Just - wow," said Ralph Storner, a Dickinson student who helped build
some of the decorative exterior. "You know when you're talking about a
world record it's going to be big. But seeing it now, it's really cool."
year, Red Clay puts together a "theme" for the first few months of
school, said Assistant Superintendent Ted Ammann, who spearheaded the
year, the district is embarking on a multimillion-dollar construction
and renovation campaign, so it only made sense to make the project about
thought, 'Hey, wouldn't it be great to do something with LEGOs?' And
then we started talking about trying to break this record," Ammann said.
"We knew it was going to be a huge task, but I knew we were up to it."
district held a "brick drive," calling for every student to contribute.
It also held fundraisers and sought donations from numerous groups,
ranging from New Castle County to Delaware Technical Community College
to the YMCA.
at every school in the district worked in the final days of the past
school year and during the summer to assemble tower segments. Then, over
the past few days, contractors volunteered to place the segments
together, using cranes and lifts.
bricks are built up around a metal cylinder that is supported by a maze
of guy-wires, but that's strictly a safety feature to prevent the
structure from toppling.
One of many strict rules Guinness has for the record is that the
structure must be free-standing. Other rules: only standard bricks
available at stores can be used and no adhesives can used.
The previous record-holder to meet all those rules was a 106-foot tower built in Prague in 2012.
district officially finished the tower on Monday when Superintendent
Mervin Daugherty, in front of a cheering crowd of hundreds, placed the
cap, a red schoolhouse modeled after the district's logo.
is really extraordinary. Usually these records are set by LEGO itself
or by a country," Daugherty told the crowd. "We did it with students and
with a community. We did it together."
tower will stay up until Thursday so people can check it out. After
that, the contractors will return to disassemble it, while segments make
their way to offices and classrooms as mementos.
want kids to get a message out of this," Daugherty said. "One kid could
never put this together. But when we all work together, when we're all a
team, we can do something that people probably thought would be
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