Evans High School seniors wanted to leave their mark on campus. It cost them $5,000, but the pavilion they helped build will provide a place for future classes to grill hot dogs and hamburgers.
This year, the Evans senior class anted up $5,000 for the $18,000 pavilion.
"Friendships, experiences in high school and memories of fun times - it's our way of giving back to the community for everything they've done for us," senior class President Jamail Larkins said. "It's important for us to improve our school as much as we possibly can and give back what we possibly can."
Seniors throughout the area are digging deep into their pockets and raising money for pet projects to build a lasting legacy for their classes.
Earlier this week, Hephzibah High School seniors unveiled a granite sign that will greet staffers, students and visitors to the south Augusta school.
"This is a gift that people will look at for years to come," said Susan Pyatt, the senior class treasurer.
Ronald Cowart and George Gore Jr., who are co-presidents of the senior class, agreed.
"It's a way to leave our legacy," George said.
The $3,000 sign was a joint project between the 2001 and 2002 senior classes.
"They have worked really hard to raise this money," senior class adviser Robin Gibson said.
Harlem High School seniors began raising money their freshman year, primarily to pay for their junior-senior prom. After the prom, several thousand dollars usually is left over ($3,000 this year), some of which goes to the junior class to help it with its prom. The rest which will go to a perpetual memory garden at the school, said Patty Niece, the senior class adviser at Harlem High.
The memory garden is in honor of Willie Harris, who was named principal in June 1986 and died of a heart attack the next month. Mr. Harris had been an assistant principal at the school.
"He was very popular with the students and the teachers," Ms. Niece said. "The marble monument was donated by the Class of 1987, and the big frame that it sits in was donated by the Class of 1988."
Butler High School seniors are still tossing around ideas for their project.
"We have not decided what we're doing yet," said senior class adviser Cynthia Pletcher.
And they're not alone.
Lakeside High School students are surrounded by the legacies of past senior classes. In recent years, seniors have donated a bell, installed a public announcement system and built a volleyball court. The past two classes raised about $15,000 to build an outdoor classroom, said Susan Wooten, the student council adviser.
The current seniors still are raising money this year through T-shirt sales and have not yet picked a project.
Reach Melissa Hall and Ashlee Griggs at (706) 724-0851.