When the Pacific Tourism Commission decided to create a new marketing image for the city, starting with new entrance signs, members turned to Pacific High School art students for creative ideas.

Tim Baker, tourism commission chair, met with 17 students in the high school commons area on a recent morning to explain the scholarship contest.

Baker explained that the city of Pacific uses a tree as its logo and the school district uses an Indian, which happened to be his favorite. But students were being asked to create an original design for an 18-foot entrance sign and were free to use any tourism features such as Civil War sites, the railroad, the Meramec River or historic Route 66.

“We’re asking you to use your own ideas,” Baker said.

Artist sketches produced by the students will be reviewed by the five-member tourism commission, which will pick two or three to be submitted to the Pacific Board of Aldermen.

“The aldermen will make the final choice,” Baker said.

The winning sketch will earn a $2,000 scholarship for the designer to be paid to the college of the winner’s choice.

In case two students work together on an entry, they will split the scholarship funds.

If the city chooses two designs in a tie, Baker said he would do everything in his power to award two $2,000 scholarships.

Seventeen students said they want to try their hand at the design, including six freshmen, one sophomore, three juniors and seven seniors.

There is no time limit on the scholarship funds.

“The scholarship will be there for you when you’re ready for college,” Baker said.

The new welcome sign is to be constructed from metal, rock, brick or wood. Finished dimensions should not exceed 15 by 15 feet and can utilize alternative energy sources for power. The sign must represent local civic organizations and include a landscaped area. Sketches must be submitted by April 1.

The tourism commission will create engineered drawings for the new signs based on the artist’s concept.