The ultimate diving board

Local sculptor creates draw bridge

By Ethan Dezotelle

 

A diving board is a fairly basic thing. A strong plank of lumber will get the job done easily enough.

Of course, the great thing about the basics is that they can be improved upon, and Morristown sculptor and designer John Rubino has pushed the envelope of diving board improvement to the extreme.

Balanced by two 1,200-pound rocks suspended by rusted chains and complimented by rounded medieval arches, Rubino has created what amounts to half a drawbridge that will be used as a swimming platform at a private residence near the Canadian border.

The work is currently at Rubino’s home in Morrisville, tucked safely behind his workshop, where it can be seen from a small sideroad off the Randolph Road.

The platform itself is made out of pressure treated lumber and can support as many as 20 people at one time safely. A manually operated hydraulic system raises and lowers the bridge with the two rocks acting as counterweights.

"This is my first moving project," said Rubino, who creates abstract sculptures and engineered interior support systems for buildings as large as City Market in Burlington. "It’s been work on and off over the last three years. It amounts to about 14 weeks altogether of actual work, engineering, and design."

The bridge has been engineered in a way that allows it to be laid down on a truck to be carried to its future home up north. Once there it will sit on a five foot deep concrete foundation.

Rubino wouldn’t disclose the price of the project.

Moving the bridge, which stands roughly 20 feet high, will actually be one of the easier parts of the project for Rubino. For him the trickiest part was finding two rocks that were just right.

"I got some looks going to the quarry and saying I needed two matched rocks around 1,200 pounds each and that I needed them to be roughly the same shape," Rubino said. "It was really exciting when I put the rocks on and the bridge laid out perfectly. It was really part engineering, part luck, and part God."

While the bridge itself is completed, Rubino said the work is not yet done.

The frame of the bridge will spend the next three years rusting in the elements to give it the right look.

"This bridge really has a medieval look to it, and the rust will add to that I think," Rubino said. "We’ll put a hard oil finish on it after it’s uniformly rusted and then the project will really be complete."

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