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MU students' igloo pays homage to St. Louis Blues

Friday, January 28, 2011 | 8:09 p.m. CST; updated 4:01 p.m. CST, Sunday, January 30, 2011
MU senior Mike Blakey sits inside of the igloo he and his roommates built in their backyard on William Street in East Campus. The igloo is equipped with a radio, rope lights, an ice skylight and a cable outlet. "It seats 10 people comfortably but 20 if you like to party," Blakey said.

COLUMBIA — Six MU seniors worked for seven days, and then they rested.

Their achievement: An igloo that would make a polar explorer jealous.

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It began as a pile of snow dumped by a plow onto their yard in East Campus. With no idea where they were going with it, the six — Mike Blakey, Kevin Renard, Brian Bahr, Matt McHugh, Kevin Kuhlmann and Tim Barone — started mashing the snow into walls.

To fortify the snow, they devised a system of  mixing it with water in a trash can.

"Literally Quikrete," Bahr said.

"You can't believe how well it worked," added Blakey.

They framed the inside with an assortment of  pool cues and wood scraps, then decorated the place with a rug, benches and fold-out chairs.

“We fit nine people comfortably in here last night,” Bahr said, motioning to the furniture lining the walls.

Ice frozen in coolers became skylights, and the roommates turned a fencepost and ice into a table. For lighting, they wound a long, blue plastic tube of lights around the post.

The igloo is completely wired, allowing the guys to catch the St. Louis Blues hockey team on a flat-screen TV. A blue note spray-painted on the outside wall is a clear declaration of their loyalty.

“We built mostly at night from the light of the apartment complex next-door. That’s when everyone was free,” Blakey said.

For a name, the guys have experimented with “Igloo of Payne," after Blues head coach Davis Payne. Nothing is settled yet.

The self-titled “snowmasons” are acutely aware of the weekend forecast — temperatures in the mid-40s. They take the precaution of covering the igloo in a tarp during peak sunlight hours, but all of them remain optimistic about its survival.

“This thing isn’t going anywhere for a couple of weeks,” Barone declared.

If the igloo lasts through Sunday, his prediction might very well come true. The National Weather Service predicts 13-to-16 inches of snow this week.


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