BY BRYCE PHILLIPS, Elizabethton Star
Elizabethton High School senior Will Bowers has a vision.
Bowers and his fellow classmate, Caleb Metros, a junior, are both in the Elizabethton High’s community outreach class, and the two students are currently working on a project to update the mural on the back of the historic Douglas School in Elizabethton.
Bowers said that he would like to see the mural reflect the community’s younger generation.
“Most of the people who did the mural a few years back are now in their 30s and 40s,” said Bowers. “I feel the kids of now and this generation who are in the middle schools and high schools should have a mural that they can have that they made. They need something to look back on when they are older and say that, ‘We made this.’”
Douglas School, which now serves as the Elizabethton School System’s central office, became Elizabethton’s first African-American high school in 1936 and graduated its first class in 1940. The school closed in 1965 following the end of segregation in the United States. A dragon was the school’s mascot, and Bowers said he would love to incorporate the dragon into the new mural.
“If you know your history, then you should tell it,” said Bowers. “Most high schoolers, now, don’t know much about Douglas School. They just know about the park.”
Metros got involved with the project through being friends with Bowers. Metros is currently working on his own project with the Elizabethton High School archives to archive the current mural on Douglas School which features handprints of people from the Douglas community.
“I wanted to archive this mural due to its significance in the community,” said Metros.
The mural project is in the early stages, and Bowers and Metros are currently reaching out to the community for help.
“If they want to help, they can,” said Bowers. “If they want to donate some brushes and paint we could use, that would be great. Right now, we are just looking for people who are wanting to help and donate.”
One of the next steps forward will be to get approval from the Elizabethton City Schools to update the mural. Bowers and Metros are creating a proposal, and Bowers said he hopes to present that proposal to the Elizabethton City School Board in mid-April.