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Boulder City’s mountainside ‘BC’ letters are getting a makeover

Updated February 22, 2024 - 7:40 pm

Call it whatever you want – community cooperation, school pride or once an Eagle, always an Eagle.

Regardless of the emotion it may evoke, those organizing a day to repaint the “BC” are hoping to tap into all of them.

Last week, an informal meeting was held that included Boulder City Chamber CEO Jill Rowland Lagan, Desert Sun Realty owner Bret Runion, longtime Boulder City High School teacher Cheryl Herr and local historian Bill Rackey to discuss the repainting of the BC, which is visible from many parts of town.

It’s been a decade since the last time it was touched up, and that was using lime and water. Not only has some of the lime been washed away by rain over the years, bushes have grown within the white lettering. Needless to say, it’s needed.

“I went up there recently and one of the first things I noticed was that a lot of the sagebrush was growing out from between the rocks on the painted area,” said Rackey, a BCHS class of 1972 grad. “It looks bad.”

The group set a date of Saturday, March 23, beginning at 8 a.m. to repaint the letters. Those lending a helping hand are asked to meet at the Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Trail’s lower parking lot/restrooms at the end of Yucca Street. Anyone with old mops and 5-gallon buckets are asked to bring them.

They decided to open it up to the community at large in order to get as many people to assist as possible. In 2014, those doing the work consisted mostly of high school seniors even though it was not a school-sanctioned event.

For Runion, his desire to repaint the BC is three-fold. Not only is it needed, but his son, Grant, was one of the students 10 years ago who helped, making it a family affair. The elder Runion was also student body vice president when his class first painted the B near Bootleg Canyon in 1985.

Two years later, the class of 1987, of which Herr and Rowland Lagan are members, added the C.

“I think by using paint, it will be brighter and last longer,” said Herr, who helped oversee the 2014 repainting.

When asked why the need to repaint the letters, Rowland Lagan was quick to replay by saying, “Community pride.”

“Community pride sums it up well,” Runion added. “It’s an important part of our community.”

Runion said the city helped in 1985 deciding where to relocate the B to its current location.

“So, it wasn’t us students who said, ‘Hey, let’s put it here,’” he said.

As for why the C was added, Herr said it was because just over the hill, Basic High School had its own B, and still does, on the mountainside. Adding the C assured no confusion between the two former rivals. But, while it eliminated confusion between the two high schools, the BC had led others to come up with their own conclusion.

“A lot of the new residents think it stands for Bootleg Canyon,” Rowland Lagan said of the popular area for mountain biking, hiking and ziplining.

Rest assured, they all stressed that’s not the case.

The BC is actually the second iteration of this popular Boulder City landmark. Dating back to the 1950s, or possibly earlier, a large B was painted by high schoolers on the side of the hill, which is now home to San Felipe Drive. Once homes began being built on the hillside, the B was wiped away until it found a home in its current location. However, that area off Adams Boulevard is still referred to as B Hill, decades later. For a short time in the early 1980s, a large BC was painted on the water tank in town but was later painted over.

The area in which the BC is located is city-owned land. After hearing of this project, organizers did receive permission from city officials to proceed.

“I see no problem with that at all,” City Manager Taylour Tedder said

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