Penguin Pride Fire Hydrant Project at YSU

It has been 22 years since a little bit of red, white and black paint was used to transform 124 fire hydrants around the YSU (Youngstown State University) campus into an army of Pete and Penny Penguins. images-1

Now the Penguin Post has learned that the time has come to give the colony of penguins a makeover.

The idea to turn the hydrants into miniature versions of the YSU penguin mascots came from Bob Barko Jr., who back then was a senior graphic design student at Youngstown State University.

Barko responded to a challenge from former University President Dr. Leslie Cochran to paint the hydrants with designs that would show off Penguin Pride.

In 2002, Barko returned to campus to repaint a batch of hydrants on the campus core and on the surrounding streets.

Since then, more than a decade has passed and the little Pete and Penny the Penguins are in need of a new coat of paint.


In late May, Barko received a call from the University asking if he was interested in repainting the hydrants.

Barko accepted the commission and between now and the end of September, he plans to give 84 hydrants around the area of the stadium a fresh look.

Barko said each hydrant takes approximately two hours to paint although he usually works in stages on multiple hydrants during a work session, applying a base coat then a color coat and finally a detail coat to each hydrant.

Go Penguins!


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