The building for Evans Middle School might be new, but the school is steeped in history and tradition.
That history recently was recorded on a wall in the school for all of the pupils to see.
Appling resident Cole Phail recently completed a mural at Evans Middle that illustrates its history. The mural includes snapshotlike paintings of the various Evans school buildings and a timeline of notable events in the history of the school and the Columbia County school system.
Anna Olliff, the Evans Middle media specialist, said she and Principal Michael Johnson came up with the idea for the historical mural.
"I came up with the conceptual ideas," Phail said. "They came up with the historical facts and research."
The artist has painted murals in various schools in Columbia, Richmond and McDuffie counties, and this mural is his ninth work at Evans Middle.
"We've got this big, beautiful building, and it's just a way to make it a little more personal," Olliff said.
Phail said his latest work is a departure from his other Evans murals, which he called "pride-building" works.
Olliff said she hoped the pupils would get a greater understanding of the school's tradition from the mural.
"We just want them to feel a part of this history as well," she said.
Phail used the school motto, "Tradition starts here," as the title of the mural. The timeline ends with the words, "You are history in the making."
Phail, who painted in empty buildings until a couple of years ago, has discovered that pupils are more than a part of the school's history. They are a source of inspiration for him as well.
"Painting while the kids are in school is refreshing. I get all their feedback," he said.
He said the pupils often ask questions and make suggestions while he works.
"I've got little buddies that stop by," he said.
"Thankfully, they haven't corrected my spelling."
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