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      Bulldog statue inspires pride at Evans Middle School

      The new bulldog statue keeps watch over Evans Middle School.

      If you've been by Evans Middle School in the last few days, you may have noticed a little something different.

      The school now has a three-foot bulldog statue keeping watch over the school's front entrance. The bulldog is part of a three-part plan to spruce up the school's main entrance.

      "We have a beautiful facility, but we have a bit of an identity problem when it comes to the main entrance," said Principal Dave Harper.

      Recently, a new flagpole was installed and the school is working on plans for a three-column "Evans Middle School" sign to be put in as well.

      The bulldog statue was the brainchild of Larry Northup, a former Evans employee. He and fellow retired teacher John Sodey used to plan the out-of-state science trips for the students. When Northup and Sodey retired, there were leftover funds, which they decided to use to make an investment in the school.

      "Everybody that we've had walk through here has always stopped, I think, and looked at that bulldog and said, 'man, that is really great'," Northup said. "We're pretty proud of it."

      The statue was designed by a sculptor in South Carolina that specializes in designing school mascots. The project took four months of planning until the perfect design, a three-foot dog on a six-foot platform, was in place.

      And since several district activities and high school athletics are also held at the middle school, the bulldog can inspire school sprit for the entire community.

      "It's been a great addition to Evans, the kids are really,.. liking it and we've got some good feedback from the community [on] how it looks," Harper said.