Bob Barko Jr. is back on campus freshening up his flock – one pop of color at a time.
The 1993 YSU graduate is the artist behind each of the 84 Pete and Penny fire hydrants on campus.
“For almost a quarter century, the flock of Pete the Hydrants has been a part of the YSU landscape showing off our Penguin Pride,” he said. “I am thrilled to be back and giving them a bright new coat of color.”
Barko first painted the hydrants in 1993, and he returned in 2002 to repaint a batch of the hydrants on the campus core and surrounding streets. More than a decade later, Barko was brought back again this summer to refresh the flock.
Superintendent of Public Affairs for the 910th Airlift Wing at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, Barko does his hydrant painting in evenings and weekends. He said work on each hydrant takes about two hours, applying a base coat then a color coat and finally a detail coat.