NORWAY – More than 100 people of all ages gathered for the Hornet-Trojan Alumni Association Cleanup Day at the old Norfield 12 Year/original HKT School on Winchester Avenue on Saturday.
An effort is under way to re-purpose the old school building.
“We are going to turn (part of) this (property) into a ... community recreational facility," said Tracie M. Clemons of Blackville, vice president of the HTAA.
She said storage units and studio apartments are planned for the property, noting it is hoped that a grant can also be obtained from HUD for public housing there.
HTAA member Mary Hart, who helped with the cleanup, said, “I went to this building. This is a proud moment to see them gearing up to do something. We are working together to make it better … ”
Those participating had to clear away plenty of brush, limbs, leaves and trash and mow the grass as well.
Numerous mounds of yard debris and bags of trash had been cleared by late morning.
Coaches Mark McClain, Melinda Brimfield and Stefon Milhouse coordinated the boys' and girls' varsity basketball teams from Hunter-Kinard-Tyler School coming to and helping at the event. Girls' team members Kanesha Randolph, NiAsia Rowe, Shontayja Smalls, JaNyah Robinson, Khaleelah Milledge, Kendreanna Bell-Gilyard, Diamique Johnson, Kamari’a James, Chon Dajah Burkett, Zyveria Clemons, Rayvionna James, Briyanna Stokes, Shalaysia Myers, Zai’Kayia Jones, Jamesha Gilmore and Nykeria Youmans took part.
Randolph, a senior player, said, “I came to help the community, to give back for the kids that come after me because I am a senior.”
“I came to make the community a better place and to be with friends and family,” Johnson, another senior, added.
Smalls, also a senior member of the team, noted, “It is my duty to keep the community clean and make it better for others because I am a member of the community.”
“As a coach and teacher at HKT, I keep in mind that this is our community. Anything we can do to give back to the community, we do,” McClain said.
“The community supports us the whole season. We want to let the students and the community know that it’s not all about basketball but giving to the community,” Milhouse added.
Nine of the 13 members of the HKT varsity boys' basketball team were also involved in Saturday's cleanup.
Daveon Clemons, a senior, said, “This community supports us by giving us money and cheering us on in the crowd. This is the way for the community to come together and do good things together. There is a lot of history in that building ... ”
Some Claflin University students also assisted with the Cleanup Day. Olivia Clemons of Norway, a junior at Claflin, said, “I was invited by my cousin (Tracie Clemons) to participate. I like giving back to my community.”
“I am here for voluntary community service,” said Tiffany Nolen, another Claflin junior.
Alpha Kappa Alphas from Claflin also volunteered in the cleanup at the old school site as did members of Zeta Phi Beta Inc. and Delta Sigma Theta Inc. sororities.
Mayor Ann Johnson of Norway was glad to such a good turnout for the Cleanup Day.
“I am just excited that this is going on. I went from first through ninth grade to the Norfield 12 Year School and 10th (grade) through graduation to HKT," Johnson said. "I am excited to see the young kids working here. The alumni are working hard, too. I am impressed with the volunteers.”
Norway Town Councilwoman Bonnie Fogle said of the group's effort, “I think it looks great. It looks like they have done a lot of work.”