A student at Davidson High School was not tooting his own horn when he thought that he could replace a band tower as part of an Eagle Scout project.

A student at Davidson High School was not tooting his own horn when he thought that he could replace a band tower as part of an Eagle Scout project.

Chris Carter, now a senior, first approached Band Director Dave Handshue about his idea for replacing the tower after it was declared a safety hazard and unusable last August.

Carter, who plays French horn in the band, was accompanied by his father when he arrived at the initial meeting with Handshue.

"His dad wanted to assure us that it was not half of a thought," Handshue said.

It took little discussion for Handshue to be convinced that the student he has known since first teaching him in the sixth grade could bring the plan to fruition.

"If anybody could put it off, it was Chris," he said. "He is a hard worker and always doing what he is supposed to be doing. He has played four instruments for us and does what is necessary to help the band."

The "rickety band tower," as Principal John Bandow described it, was barely standing last summer when the maintenance department reported back to the Buildings and Grounds Committee that the tower had to come down.

They needed it for one final year, so cables were driven into the ground to secure it from toppling over.

Carter said there were holes in the scaffolding the size of golf balls.

"I don't like heights," said Handshue. "The old one was a little wobbly for my taste."

Handshue, who has been teaching in the district for 13 years, said the former tower predated him.

Originally it served a purpose at the Hilliard High School when it was located in the building now designated as Memorial Middle School.

The band tower was moved to Davidson after the high school was built.

Carter laid out a plan that called for having the old tower removed and a new tower in its place in July of 2008 or the beginning of band camp.

"I don't think Chris had any doubt that he could do it," said Handshue. "We as adults always have doubts when teenagers say they are going to do something."

Carter admits that he did not question his plan.

"I've done construction projects before," he said, "building a shed with a friend the previous summer. Before that, I had not done much major construction work. I knew I could do it with time. The only thing that surprised me was the time it took to complete the project."

Bandow said the student handled everything himself. He obtained building permits, went through inspections, got people to donate supplies, kept up on communications, oversaw the dissembling of the old tower and finally built the new tower.

Carter and his parents, according to Handshue, worked with the planning stages, established the time line, secured funding, and sat down with administrators and members of the Buildings and Grounds Committee for approval.

Carter is not as eager to take all the credit for the project.

He said he could not have done it without the help of his father and the outpouring of support from staff, students and community members.

While most of the materials were donated, Handshue said, the Band Boosters raised about $2,100 to cover costs.

The funds have not quite covered the costs, but, Carter said, the drive has slowed down since its kickoff.

In April, when the weather turned nice, a group of parents gathered on the field to remove the old band tower.

"More of the adults came in to help disassemble it," said Handshue. "It was pretty dangerous for kids."

The original design for the new tower was done by a student at Darby High School, according to Handshue, and then they worked with an architect to modify the plans to the band director's needs.

"It is multi-level," he said. "Two levels. We have platforms we stand on. We can put all four of us up there safely and have room to spare."

When it was being constructed, Handshue said, Carter was accompanied by some of the Scouts and the band members. "Chris was like the construction leader," he said.

It was left its natural wood coloring, although, Carter said, they used treated wood.

Despite his fear of heights, Handshue said, he is not afraid of the new tower.

"It's like going upstairs in your basement," he said. "It is rock solid and a nice big thing."

For Carter, it is more like a stairwell. "It feels very sturdy with rails all the way around it," he said. "The view is very awesome up there. All of the marching band aides go up there and watch us during band camp."

Handshue said he was using the tower by July 2, but Carter said it was July 23 before the extra security measures were completed.

"The toughest part, I believe, was getting the courage to go out and get the documents and ask people what I needed to do so I could complete this and do it properly," he said, as he works to complete the rest of the requirements to become an Eagle Scout.

Handshue said it is important to give students, like Carter, a chance.

"It is a very neat thing," he said.

The tower was dedicated and Carter recognized during an ice cream social on Aug. 25, but the tower will be viewed by even more people on Aug. 29 during the first home football game.