Often the emphasis of popular capital improvement projects at schools is focused on celebrating the past. North Surry High School’s Walk of Champions ribbon cutting Friday afternoon at Charles Atkins Stadium had it sights firmly set in the future.
“This moment in time on this day I will cherish. What an honor,” said Principal Neil Atkins as he stood among a crowd of Greyhound Educational Foundation members. “Since its inception in 2004, they have had a huge impact on North Surry High School. You can’t stand at any spot on campus and not see the tangible impact of the foundation.”
He said in addition to physical improvements, the foundation also funds scholarships and said the Walk would serve as a permanent reminder on what happens when a community supports its young people.
Foundation President Sam Holder told the audience the project had been a labor of love for him and the volunteers and businesses who had helped.
“This place has been special to me and I hope it has been to all of you,” said Holder. He said he is a construction project manager accustomed to deadlines. Holder said an “army” of volunteers last Saturday got the project back on track in time for Friday’s game.
“This deadline was more important than many,” Holder said. “We couldn’t have done it without the help of many companies who stepped up to bridge the gap. Surry Central has Dobson, East Surry has Pilot, Mount Airy has Mount Airy. North Surry is a community. I call us the Greyhound Nation.”
Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves said pride in community and school is what was being shared by the Walk of Champions and was “a testament to Greyhound Nation.”
“Hats off to this vision,” said Reeves. “You have certainly exceeded expectations with this project. What a way to kick off the football season with this Walk of Champions.”
Holder explained the walkway, which is accented by the Greyhound mascot symbol set in granite in the center of the area, is composed of 6,300 brick pavers, four-inch by eight-inch bricks, which can be embossed with alumni names and honors. There is a charge for personalizing the bricks.
Earlier, Holder said said the foundation is a group of alumni who help fund projects which were in a gap because of other budgetary priorities. Projects completed by the foundation include new scoreboards and goal posts, a new weight room and concession stand, safety pads in the school gymnasium, new baseball dugouts and lighting for the softball field. Holder said the group also funds scholarships.
Holder said the Walk of Champions will help the foundation fund its next round of projects. The ribbon cutting coincided with Friday’s Greyhound Fan Fest. Holder hopes more alumni will highlight class, academic and athletic accomplishments on the bricks. He said he already had seen a variety of accomplishments on the first bricks with one former student purchasing a brick to honor faculty members.
Persons interested in finding out more about the Walk of Champions or purchasing a brick my contact Holder at 325-8130 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or at 719-1952.