The “Wind Dancer” is dancing once again after a team of UCF students reinstalled the pegasus sculpture outside the Burnett Honors College Tuesday.
The statue was damaged after the first UCF football game against FIU Sept. 3, when two men were caught on video trying to ride the piece of art.
The UCF Police Department is still investigating the incident.
After the statue was vandalized, College of Engineering professor Ali Gordon recruited mechanical and Aerospace engineering majors to repair it in one of the school’s manufacturing labs.
“It was a good opportunity to put something we’ve learned in class to good use,” said Anthony Defilippo, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering.
Defilippo added that not only was the project fun to work on, but it also held a lot of meaning, given the pegasus’ symbolism on campus.
“It was great to be able to take this symbol and sort of breathe new life into it,” he said.
Cullen Fitzgerald, a senior mechanical engineering major, said that the team redesigned the sculpture’s structure, giving it a new attachment point at the base with a solid piece of aluminum, which was previously hollow.
Now, the stature will be able to better withstand hurricanes, storms and incidents like the one that caused it to break.
“It’s mindboggling that someone sees a piece of art and wants to climb on it,” Fitzgerald said.
He said that people should check to make sure a piece of art can be touched, like the pieces outside the College of Performing Arts. If they don’t, there could be major consequences.
“They don’t know what material it’s made out of, or how it was built,” he said. “And sadly, accidents do happen.”
Deanna Ferrante is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future.