Zephyrhills High gets commemorative wall to mark school's 100 years
ZEPHYRHILLS - A new landmark is adding a little pizzazz to Zephyrhills High. A brick wall erected in front of the school's marquee commemorates the 100th anniversary of the high school, which opened in a different location in 1910. Members of the ZHS 100 Committee are hoping the wall will give more prominence to the marquee, which has been around since the 1990s but seems to fade into the scenery. "When you pass this corner, you just don't notice it," said Nancy Perkins, class of 1970.School alumni and others with a connection to Zephyrhills High gathered at the school Friday afternoon for a dedication ceremony. They posed for photographs at the wall, then went inside the school's activities center to hear remarks and listen to the ZHS chorus sing the alma mater. "We come today to recognize 100 years of excellence; 100 years of hard work and dedication to our community," Principal Steve Van Gorden said. Gregg Hilferding, Class of 1998, designed the wall on a computer, getting input from committee members as the image took shape. He was pleased with how his computerized handiwork translated to real life. "I think it turned out awesome," he said. Two bulldog statues, the school's mascot, serve as sentries atop each end of the V-shaped wall. At the wall's center, 10 bricks from the 1926 high school building form a Z. On the wall is the message "100 Years of Education." At one end is the year 1910 and at the other is 2010. The wall cost about $12,200. Donations from Fred Gore, Bhupinder and Anjali Bedi and others paid for it. Workers from Ryman Construction built the wall. "I'm just so thrilled that when you drive by you can see more than just that white sign," said Elaine Benjamin, class of 1960. Appreciation of the wall isn't limited to those who attended the school decades ago. "The students are all excited about it," said Rainas Wao, 17, the senior class president. "It looks real good," said Wesley Novak, 18, vice president of student council. Devin McLeod, 17, secretary of the student council, said the wall helps make the marquee stand out, just as the committee intended. "When you see it, you notice there is an add-on to it," he said.