The mural of the story

A new baby found a home at Community Medical Center on Friday.

The "baby" is a mural created by students at Big Sky High School as part of a Flagship Project with the hospital.

Unveiled Friday morning, the colorful tile mural incorporates an eagle head at the top, a sunburst to the side, hands clasping each other and parents holding a new baby.

The mural was designed to express hope and caring, explained senior Geoff Stocking.

"Hope was the biggest goal," he said.

Minkie Medora, the director of hospital services, caught that.

"I like the diversity, the colors, the background people," she said while looking at the mural. "The different ages, some are older, some are babies. There's a lot of hope."

The students - Stocking, Linsy Bradford, Alla Grib, Andrea Hess and Andrea Woodahl - worked with the assistance of Flagship coordinator Kim McKelvey and artists Amie Thurber and Clare Ann Harff in producing the mural. Volunteer support staff at Clay Studio also helped get the project together.

Bradford was interested in working on the mural because she wants to be a physician. Stocking and Hess want to be artists.

"Some parts were hard," said Bradford. Getting the ideas down wasn't, she said. On the positive side, she did learn to work with clay.

The students met with medical center personnel and talked about what goes on at the hospital: new babies, life changes, death and dying.

"I think they were pretty moved by some of the things we shared with them," said Charles Page, the medical center's vice president for community services. "I think they did a really neat job."

Big Sky Principal Paul Johnson thinks the project is wonderful.

"It shows what a unique bunch of people there are in Missoula," he said.

"The project, as with all Flagship Projects, gives students a sense of making the community theirs and (gives them) ownership of the community," he added.

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