At the groundbreaking on Thursday morning for "City of Colleges" signs to be built at two entrances to the city, Ron Hill, who gathered donations and volunteers to make the project happen said:

"When you plant a seed of good, you never know where or what the harvest will be," he said.

Most of those donors and volunteers were there to see the earth turned at the site of the first sign to be built on the east side of Interstate 40, south of Dave Ward Drive.

Hefting shovels for the ceremonial breaking of ground included two college presidents -- Terry Kimbrow of Central Baptist College and Allen Meadors of the University of Central Arkansas -- Conway Mayor Tab Townsell, County Judge Preston Scroggin; Brad Lacy of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, representatives from Civic Clubs; contractors who are donating their work, and a lot of other folks.

In giving a brief history of the project, Hill said he took his idea for a sign to City Hall.

"My idea was cute and would have cost $57.40," Hill said.
He was soon overruled, and the first estimate for one sign was $78,000.

Hill got to work, finding volunteers to donate labor, equipment and time and calling on prospective donors to pay for that which could not be given.

"When complete, this will present our vision of the city," Hill said. "We should not settle for less."

In a new twist, Hill said there will be time capsules included in the first monument-like sign with a capsule for the county, the city, each college, each civic club, the Chamber of Commerce and the Faulkner County Historical Society. More details will follow.

(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at and 505-1234.)