SUNBURY — Seth Tluchowski, along with his family and friends, worked Saturday to install two outdoor chessboards at Big Walnut Middle School as part of his Eagle Scout project.
“When I attended Big Walnut Middle School, I loved learning to play chess at a chess club,” Seth said on his GoFundMe page. “I always enjoy playing chess with my family and friends. I want to give back to the school and the students by building two outdoor chess sets and if I raise enough money, a 9 Square in the Air so that students can benefit from it.
As those in the local Big Walnut School District know, BWMS is now BWI at 777 Cheshire Road. Although the school has sports fields, it does not have a playground. Seth, a senior patrol leader and freshman at Big Walnut High School, helps change that.
A relatively new game, 9 Square in the Air uses PVC pipes to build a large square containing nine separate squares. It’s a bit like volleyball, but with nine people competing inside each of the squares using a bigger, softer ball. When The Gazette visited BWI, this structure was already built.
The outdoor chess sets have concrete pavers, which Seth and others have painted red and yellow, the Big Walnut colors, instead of the traditional black and white. The group was lining up the cobblestones, so they were perfectly straight, when The Gazette stopped. Local Waste Services donated bins for the large plastic chess pieces that were purchased, Rental Stop let Seth use his lawn trimmer, and local hardware stores helped provide some of the materials such as pavers and bricks. pipes.
Students, whether they are in the chess club or not, will now be able to play on a large scale. Chess is enjoying a resurgence thanks to the recent award-winning miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit”.
Seth said he had planned to complete the project in the spring, but BWI staff asked if he could finish it sooner due to student demand. The principal of BWI is Sarah Sandrock.
Professor Mike Wion runs the chess club, Seth said. He added that his strategy in chess is to quickly protect the king using his rooks.
Seth has said he would like to become an adult scout leader, but first he hopes to follow in his brother’s footsteps by earning a degree in civil engineering from the University of Cincinnati.
Seth’s mother, Tracy Adkins Tluchowski, organized the fundraiser, and among those who helped out was his father, John. She said Seth had been in scouting since first grade.
Seth Tluchowski (holding a paving stone and a chess piece) and his friends work on installing outdoor chess boards at Big Walnut Middle School on Saturday.
Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County. He can be reached at the above email address or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.