SUNBURY — Seth Tluchowski along with his family and friends worked on installing two outdoor chess boards at the Big Walnut Intermediate School as part of his Eagle Scout project on Saturday.
“When I attended Big Walnut Middle School, I loved learning chess at the chess club,” Seth said on his GoFundMe page. “I still 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 for the students to enjoy.”
As those in the Big Walnut Local School District know, BWMS is now BWI at 777 Cheshire Road. The school has sports fields but no 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 construct a large square with nine separate squares. It’s a bit like volleyball, but with nine players competing on each of the courts with a larger, softer ball. When The Gazette visited BHI, this structure was already built.
The outdoor chess sets have concrete pavers that Seth and others have painted red and yellow, the Big Walnut colors, instead of the traditional black and white. The group adjusted the cobblestones so they were perfectly straight as The Gazette passed. Local Waste Services donated trash cans for the large plastic chess pieces that were purchased, Rental Stop let Seth use his sod cutter, and local hardware stores helped provide some materials like pavers and 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 due to the recent award-winning miniseries The Queen’s Gambit.
Seth said he planned to do the project in the spring, but staff at BWI asked if he could finish it earlier due to student demand. BWI’s Director is Sarah Sandrock.
Teacher Mike Wion runs the chess club, Seth said. He added that his strategy in chess is to quickly protect the king with his rooks.
Seth said he would love to be an adult Boy 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 him was his father, John. She said Seth has been in scouting since first grade.
Seth Tluchowski (with paving stone and chess piece) and friends work on installing outdoor chess boards at the Big Walnut Intermediate 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.