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Student Stack Nears Completion

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The recent cold weather hasn't stopped students from turning out to Hot Rod Hill for the building of the third student stack.

"Since stack began, we're averaging about 75 [workers] a night," said Paul Harding, who is one of the leaders of the build. "I'm thinking we've had about 150 total."

And with the fifth anniversary of the bonfire's collapse fast approaching, safety is priority one when it comes to the building of this structure.

"This center pole is two feet in diameter," according to Will Wilkinson, the stack's engineer. "There are also four other poles called windle sticks that are at least 1.5 feet in diameter. As far as the size of stack, the old stack at the time it fell was 600 tons. This one is a third of that."

"He continuously punches numbers to make sure everything is right," said Harding. "We put supersets on. It's a cable wrap at about four and eight foot intervals thus far. We plan on putting on another one within the next day or two to make sure everything is held together very tight."

Texas A&M has not sanctioned any of the bonfires since 1999's accident, and for the workers, their emotions are mixed on their school's lack of support.

"It does bother me somewhat to know that from 1909 to 1999, it was successfully built, and there was support continuously, and now it's the same tradition on a smaller scale and we're doing it as safe as we can, but we get a bunch of negative support," said Harding.

Workers hope to complete their job on the afternoon of the fifth anniversary of the collapse, and then two days later, on the evening of November 20th, they hope to once again light stack.