Rough patches and potholes cover the front parking lot at Chilton County High School, and students are working to change that through a repaving project they hope to complete this year.
Rough patches and potholes cover the front parking lot at Chilton County High School, and students are working to change that through a repaving project they hope to complete this year.

Archived Story

Students raise more money for parking lot project

Published 7:05pm Thursday, February 6, 2014

Another fundraiser for the project to repave Chilton County High School’s front parking lot concluded Thursday, and students spearheading the project are preparing to calculate a new total for how much more money they need to raise before construction can start.

Pizza Hut in Clanton agreed to donate to CCHS 20 percent of its sales Feb. 5 and 6 from customers who said they were from CCHS.

Mason Easterling, one of the students leading the project, said he came up with the idea to ask Pizza Hut about partnering with CCHS for a fundraiser as he researched food-related fundraiser options online.

“It seemed like a pretty easy fundraiser,” Easterling said.

Blake Hudson, who has led the project alongside Easterling, said arranging the fundraiser with Pizza Hut was simply a matter of talking to the staff and figuring out what days to collect donations.

CCHS student Lauren Benson reached out to Pizza Hut and helped schedule the donation days.

“They were awesome to let us put signs up in front of the restaurant,” Hudson said.

In December, CCHS students held a “Christmas Spectacular” at the school auditorium to raise money for the project.

“We made $5,100 from that,” Hudson said. “That all goes to the parking lot fund. We were absolutely pleased with the turnout. We are planning to continue it next year and hopefully have more shows to raise money.”

Hudson and Easterling said they are waiting to hear from the Clanton City Council about funding the city could donate toward repaving the CCHS parking lot.

Students wrote letters to the council, attended several of their meetings and met with some of the council members personally to talk about their needs and goals for the project.

In Hudson’s words, the students are doing “as many small things as we can do.”

“Obviously, everybody knows it’s something that needs to be done because it’s so widely used by the community,” Hudson said. “It’s also a pride factor for students at school.”

Easterling said he contacted Wiregrass Construction to get a quote for the project, and the company estimated the project to cost $73,602 but said it would subtract $3,000 as a tax write-off for helping a school.

With that in mind, Easterling said the school would have to raise about $65,514 more for the project.

He said the school could apply for a Challenge grant through Cawaco Resource Conservation and Development for up to $5,000, along with various other grants.

The students’ goal is to complete the project before graduation in May.

“If we can’t get it done in that time frame, we’re prepared to work after that to make sure it gets done,” Hudson said.

Once started, construction on the parking lot should take about two days, Easterling said.

“The parking lot is used a lot by the community,” Easterling said. “Sometimes, that’s their first impression of the entire education system. We don’t want them pulling into the parking lot and thinking, ‘They just don’t care.’”

Anyone interested in making a monetary donation to the project is welcome to do so, students said.

“[We’re] just trusting God,” Easterling said. “If it’s going to happen, I know he’ll provide.”

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