McDonald’s mural a victim of torrential rains

LIHU‘E — It is literally back to the drawing board for Island School students, teachers and volunteer parents, after the student mural that hung on the construction wall of the Lihu‘e McDonald’s restaurant was severely damaged by weekend rains a day after it went up.

“The students and I were devastated when the Thanksgiving rain storm removed most of the paint from our mural,” said Penny Nichols, Island School art teacher.

“We had consulted with two paint ‘experts’ and had done quite a bit of research. Obviously, the advice we were given was incorrect,” she said.

“With the help of the students and several volunteer parents, I am going to restore the mural panels to their original glory, using exterior house paint and a special protective coating used for boats,” said Nichols.

“We plan to have it reinstalled sometime in early January.”

The 50 students, in grades six through 12, got their mural of Hanalei Bay hung on Black Friday, Nov. 27, but heavy rains Thanksgiving weekend damaged the art, so it was taken down, she said.

“They did a great job,” said Frankie Chung, who with wife Darlene Chung are the new owners of the five McDonald’s restaurants on Kaua‘i.

They were able to see the mural before the rains did their damage, he said.

When he saw the McDonald’s Golden Arches logo on one of the boats, he tried to convince his wife that it was a sign that they should buy a boat, he said.

For the mural, McDonald’s provided materials. The company also provided refreshments for the students, and contributed $1,000 to the school, according to an earlier press release.

The Lihu‘e McDonald’s is scheduled to reopen spring 2010.

• Paul C. Curtis, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or pcurtis@kauaipubco.com.

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