Historical Aviation Beam Found in Columbia

2 years 10 months 1 week ago June 17, 2014 Jun 17, 2014 Tuesday, June 17 2014 Tuesday, June 17, 2014 5:16:00 PM CDT in News
By: Madi Morris, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - A piece of Columbia aviation history was uncovered after workers were instructed to demolish an old public works building.

A more than 43 foot long beam that reads "Stephens College Aviation Department" was found after a brick façade fell from what used to be the face of a Parks Management Center building.

"When I was pulling the brick off the face of the building, it seemed that it said something behind it and I continued pulling it down and it was rather interesting," said Jeremy Sapp, the worker who originally found the beam.

Sapp had to figure out what to do next.

"He stopped and made a couple of phone calls to our (Columbia Public Works) project managers and wanted to know what to do at this point because he recognized that maybe there was some historical significance," said Steven Sapp, Public Information Specialist for Columbia Public Works.

Public Works stopped demolition immediately and contacted Stephens College.

"We're very excited that the city found this beam and that they are working with us and helping us figure out the best way to preserve it," said Rebecca Kline, Director of Marketing and Communications at Stephens College.

Since the discovery of the beam, a lot of history has been dug up. The Parks Management Center was once home to the Columbia Municipal Airport. In the 1940s, the airport teamed up with Stephens College.

"The Stephens College Aviation program began in 1941 as a response to student interest and by 1944 it was a full fledge program and many women went through the program for the next 20 years," Kline said. 

Columbia Municipal Airport was used for both ground and aeronautical training for the Stephens College Aviation Department until the department ended in 1960.

Some of the women who went through the program went on to do big things and have greatly impacted the world with their education in aeronautics. This includes Francis Jenkins Holter from the class of 1944 who was the project engineer for the Apollo lunar rover and a principal engineer on the Apollo lunar module used in the moon landing program. Another alumna, Wally Funk from the class of 1958, became one of the Mercury 13.

Because of the rich history of the Stephens College Aviation Department and the relationship with Columbia Municipal Airport and the City of Columbia, engineers were instructed to safely remove the beam so it could be preserved.

"It was rather time consuming to take it down without scratching it. To not damage any of the paint on it made it time consuming. It wasn't hard, it just took a little while and a little thought behind it," Jeremy Sapp said. 

The beam is currently wrapped in a weather-proof tarp and being held at the Columbia Regional Airport. It will soon be housed in a hanger at the airport until a use is determined. 

"We are working with our own facilities team to figure out the best place for it here. We want to make sure that it is something people can see because it's an exciting and well-known part of our past for our alumna but we haven't figured it out exactly where because to my understanding, it's a very large beam," Kline said. 

Representatives from both Stephens College and Columbia Public Works will continue to meet to decide the future of the beam.

More News

Grid
List
FULTON - Fulton Police are investigating a body found. Fulton Police Chief Steve Myers believes the body could belong to... More >>
2 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 9:19:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri senators have confirmed a former PricewaterhouseCoopers partner to be the state's next revenue director. ... More >>
3 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 8:44:56 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public School teachers could see a significant increase in salary for the coming school year. The... More >>
4 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:22:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri senator says he's moving out of a room he rents from a lobbyist following... More >>
4 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:17:23 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has passed stricter requirements for tracking fetal tissue after abortions. The... More >>
4 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:13:00 PM CDT in News
MID-MISSOURI - There were 36 reported cases of salmonella in Mid-Missouri Monday, with the majority of cases reported out of... More >>
4 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:04:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Works is requesting community members complete a survey on new markings for cyclists at intersections in... More >>
5 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 6:40:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Wind, water and solar power are all elements that usually come to mind when the words 'renewable energy'... More >>
5 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 6:02:00 PM CDT in News
COOPER COUNTY, Mo. - Two people died during a plane crash on Highway 98 near Boonville around 1:40 p.m Monday.... More >>
6 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 5:03:00 PM CDT in News
ARGYLE - For years, the Rock Island rail line carried trains across Missouri, straight through towns like Eldon, Freeburg and... More >>
8 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 3:50:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A teenager who was shot by a Kansas City store clerk who thought the boy was... More >>
8 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 3:39:00 PM CDT in News
BOONVILLE- What began as a joke between two friends inspired an event that raised money and awareness for a... More >>
9 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:49:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
BALLWIN, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis County authorities are investigating an apparent murder-suicide involving a couple in their 80s. ... More >>
9 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:35:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police say a 51-year-old St. Louis-area woman died while she was sleeping when she was struck... More >>
9 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:29:00 PM CDT in News
EUREKA, Mo. (AP) — A Mexican wolf born this month at a wildlife center in suburban St. Louis is offering... More >>
9 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:17:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Community Services Department recently released its 2016 Annual Report and Program Directory, which highlights where... More >>
10 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 1:34:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - President Donald Trump's proposed spending plan for 2018 significantly reduces funding for a range of executive departments, from... More >>
11 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 12:13:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Two men are on the run after assaulting a man in his home and stealing cash and other... More >>
12 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 11:23:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 58°
12am 60°
1am 59°
2am 58°
3am 57°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
1:07a
The Insider
11:30p
Rules of Engagement
12:00a
Raising Hope
12:30a
Cheaters

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
Taken
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld