It’s been 50 years since Idaho State became a university. The state’s second university came after a tough battle in the Idaho Legislature. There are remnants of the days before the school reached university status but at least one of these markers is being relocated.
For decades an oversized Bengal statue sat in front of Reed Gym but Tuesday morning the tiger was taken away.
The tiger’s roots go back to a parade over 50 years ago. It’s not known if the tiger was ever meant to be a permanent statue but that’s what it became. The truth is the tiger required a lot of care and it was costing the university thousands of dollars each year.
“The tiger has been in disrepair for a number of years and so we’ve spent a lot of time and effort in repairing it every year,” said Tingey. “It was papier-mâché…and holes would get punched in it.”
The tiger has been relocated to storage. The Student Body President says they would like to bring it back for public viewing but they have yet to decide on an appropriate indoor location. Some of the ideas that have been thrown around are to have it in the Student Union or inside Holt Arena.
In anticipation of the move, Tingey says the students took steps last fall towards having a more stable replacement.
“The students, led by the Student Body President talked about commissioning a sculpture and having a bronze sculpture of a tiger made and replacing that; one that would be on campus, one that would last for years and years,” said Tingey
The Reed Gym tiger is just the beginning of some big changes on campus. According to multiple sources at the school, there are plans to take down the “I” on Red hill. One source told us that the removal could begin as soon as next week.
The ASISU Student Body President says one reason for removing the “I” on Red Hill would be to help differentiate ISU from the University of Idaho. He says there have been talks of putting a new landmark with ISU’s current logo on it on top of Red Hill.
Update: because of the public outcry, plans to take the “I” down have been placed on hold.