Restoration work begins on ‘G’ mountain in Pleasant Grove
Pleasant Grove residents may be wondering why’ve seen and heard a helicopter flying overhead. It’s because the restoration project of the “G” overlooking the city has begun and will continue for the next several months.
The project includes restoring the G monument and surrounding landscape, located in the foothills above Pleasant Grove, on the western slope south of Grove Creek Canyon and north of Battle Creek Canyon. The restoration is a collaborative effort between Pleasant Grove High School, Pleasant Grove city and community members.
According to John Hanks, PGHS principal, the story of the G began in 1920. Then-principal David Gourley asked the student body if they would rather have a G on the school or on the mountain. They preferred the mountain, Hanks said in the G Mountain Documentary created by Pleasant Grove High School students.
Students from the school gathered rocks from the Battle Creek and Grove Creek sides of Little Mountain to form the block G. In the years following, students would have “G Day” each year to whitewash the letter and help maintain it.
Since that time, students and community members have periodically worked to preserve and repair the “G” on the mountain. In recent years, the “G” has become badly damaged, thus a new restorative project was planned.
Mayor Guy Fugal said it would cost about $800,000 to restore the G. Of that, $700,000 will come from donations and the remaining $100,000 will come from the city’s general fund. That number may be less, Fugal told the Daily Herald, if the cost of the project is less than expected.
“The city is the permit holder with the forest service for it and the city has ownership of the G through the forest service. Because the city has ownership of it, we have some commitment to maintain it. The city council approved $100,000 toward it,” Fugal said.
Many in the community have already stepped up to donate money, labor and equipment. In fact, most of the money has already been raised, according to Fugal. “To do this right, we had to engage with engineers and they ran a cost estimate. It would have been over $1 million if we had bid it out and contracted it out,” he said.
In August, the work officially began when 328 volunteers formed a human chain and donated over 1,000 hours to remove slats from the G to prepare it for restoration with cement, gunite and permanent lighting.
“There are so many volunteers that want to be part of this who love the G,” Fugal said. “They have been helping and will continue to help up there.”
According to a Facebook post on Pleasant Grove Community Connection, other volunteers checked people in, worked at a safety station and handed out water.
Last week, a helicopter transported materials and equipment up to the G site, including a mini-excavator and a skid-steer loader. Excavating is now underway for the retaining walls in front of the G that are needed to have a platform to for work.
“This is the first time we’ve ever had something bigger than a pick and shovel up at the G,” Fugal said. “The first day it took us three hours of helicopter time. We had transported about 24 loads that day to get started with the materials.”
In the near future, the helicopter will transport about 160 concrete blocks individually to the site.
The project will incorporate solar-powered LED lighting and have batteries to be turned on remotely. A landing pad for the helicopter will also be put together in case of a medical emergency at the site.
“It’s exciting. It’s a big project. It’s going to be a lot of work. When we get it done, it will be really great. It will be better than the ‘Y,'” Fugal said.
The project is expected to be completed in April 2023.