I drove by Hedrick Middle School recently and noticed the new paint job on the west side of the school. Then I noticed that the Hornet was painted over! Can you please tell me whether the Hornet will return, or has it flown away forever? Could you also find out who painted the "old Hornet," and if a new one comes along, who will paint that one?

I drove by Hedrick Middle School recently and noticed the new paint job on the west side of the school. Then I noticed that the Hornet was painted over! Can you please tell me whether the Hornet will return, or has it flown away forever? Could you also find out who painted the "old Hornet," and if a new one comes along, who will paint that one?

— Cheryl Rose-Gonzalez, an ex-Hedrick Hornet

You may know the answer to this by now, Cheryl, because the entire staff at Since You Asked just returned from our annual vacation (a round-trip, all-expenses-paid junket to Talent), so we didn't get to your question quickly.

Because we were dilettante in our duties, you may already know the Hornet has returned, but we thought the makeover still was worth noting.

The previous Hornet logo, painted in 1997 by Hale Signs in Medford, now is beneath a layer of brown paint (and there's an even-older Hornet logo a couple of paint layers beneath that). The school was painted in late July as part of a 2009 remodeling project.

The new Hornet was designed by Roland Buck, who works for Hale Signs. Designers from Wisdom Signs and Graphics began painting the new Hornet on the west side of the school Aug. 10.

The new Hornet and the words "Home of the Hedrick Hornets" cover an area 20 feet high and 16.5 feet across.

The Hornet logo also was painted in the gym across from the bleachers and on the gym floor.

Before the new Hornet ruled the west wall, there actually were two Hornets flying around the school.

The old Hornet painted on the walls was a different design than the Hornet wearing sneakers featured on the T-shirts and sweatshirts.

Sheryl Lipsky, Hedrick's assistant principal, said the school wanted the logo to be more uniform throughout the school.

Lipsky said the new Hornet is "playful but a little more tough," and will make a better mascot for T-shirts and for middle-school students to paint on their faces before football games.

"He really is kind of a cute guy," she said.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com.