Like the Tower of Babel reaching ever higher, the world record for the tallest structure built with interlocking plastic bricks has spent years growing incrementally.
Since the first record tower was built in 1998, taller versions have been assembled by individuals, by groups, and even by the LEGO company. Successful attempts have happened in nine different countries, from Estonia to Norway.
And now, the record has found its way to the Red Clay Consolidated School District in the U.S. state of Delaware.
Tapping into the manpower of a 16,000-student school district, Red Clay topped out its structure at a skyscraping 34.43 m (112 ft 11.75 in). The organization used more than 420,000 individual LEGO bricks to assemble its tower.
The feat garnered the First State school district national recognition, including a video feature on the USA Today website. Red Clay was able to enlist the support of more than 30 corporate sponsors, who provided bricks and supplies for the attempt, partnered with donations from various local families.
Smaller portions of the tower were constructed across the 32 schools in the district, with the total weight of the bricks clocking in at over a ton. Then, with all the sections coming together in the city of Wilmington, construction crews assembled them into one unit, sending the tower upward.
Red Clay superintendent Dr. Merv Daughtery placed the final brick at the top of the tower, which bested the previous record-holding structure by nearly 2 m (nearly 6.5 ft).
After the tower’s construction, plans call for it to be dismantled with the bricks being redistributed to various district schools for their own uses.
“This has been a great community event," Dr. Daugherty said. "It shows what people can accomplish when they pull together. One kid could have never done this by themselves, but when we all work together as a team we can do something that people thought impossible."