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Rebuilding the Visitors Center Sculpture After the Spring Break Damage

Jamie Whetstone
June 06, 2018

Back in March, during Spring Break Texas Week, four male subjects vandalized the iconic sandcastle in front of the Visitors Center, just days after the artists finished replacing the old sand sculptures that had stood for five years. They caused major damage (an estimated cost of $24,000), but despite a reward being offered for information that would lead to an arrest, they were never formally brought to justice.

At a recent city meeting, Island leaders approved insurance proceeds associated with damages to the sand castle structure in the amount of $24,750 to be utilized for renovation and repair. “I’m very pleased that we were able to collect on insurance and come up with the funds to get the sandcastles rebuilt,” Mayor Dennis Stahl said. “The sandcastles are iconic, and a real visitor draw.” Because of its location on the Island, the Visitors Center sandcastle is the first sand sculpture seen by most visitors. This iconic sculpture is part of what makes South Padre Island a major sand sculpting destination.

Local master sand sculptors Andy Hancock, Lucinda “Sandyfeet” Wierenga, and Max Hovorka are currently in the process of rebuilding the structure, and are planning to have it done by July. “The castle will be bigger than the last one,” Hancock said. “The design will come from different castle architecture from around the world.” It won’t be easy, considering that the rebuild right before Spring Break took over 500 hours to complete. “It was disappointing and frustrating to find them destroyed, but we’re going to get them back,” said Hancock. “We are very happy to be doing this for the visitors.”

 

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