BHS Preservation to roast oysters for dollars

Published 1:45 am Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Staff Writer

BATH — Shucks!
The fourth-annual Bath High School Preservation oyster roast is set for 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Feb. 26.
This fundraiser for BHSP will run rain or shine at the Selby Farm Shop off N.C. Highway 92 in Bath.
Beverages on sale will include tea, beer, soda and water.
Tickets cost $25 per person, and attendees are asked to bring their own oyster knives.
For more information, call 252-923-7501.
The oyster roast raises money for BHSP, which is working to restore the former Bath High School building.
“Every dollar that we get is very important because we’ve got a place for it,” said Jimmy Edwards, president. “We’ve got a roof to put on and windows to put in on the outside. We’re getting there, but we’re not there yet.”
BHSP has slightly less than 200 members, but roughly 350 to 375 people turned out for last year’s oyster roast, Edwards confirmed.
“Everybody’ll probably eat a peck,” he said.
Volunteers wash, steam and serve the oysters, offering “as many as you want,” said Marti Buchanan, publicity chairwoman for BHSP.
On the day, Bath High School alumni will drive in from as far as Rocky Mount, Tarboro and Greenville for what has become “a real community social event,” Buchanan explained.
“It’s become almost a homecoming type of event,” she said.
In related news, Edwards said BHSP had received a $20,000 matching grant from the Marion Stedman Covington Foundation, which works for the preservation of historic structures in North Carolina.
BHSP has raised most of the funds it needs for the 100-percent match of the foundation’s grant, and the oyster roast should put the local nonprofit over the top, Edwards added.
Last summer, BHSP members celebrated the transfer of a deed for the former high-school property to their organization from the Town of Bath.
The town sold the land and buildings for $100,000, with the proviso that BHSP would pay the town $20,000 a year for five years.
The school, built from 1918 through 1921, was emptied of its last graduating class in 1989, BHSP’s website reads.
Many of the preservation entity’s volunteers are drawn from the ranks of BHS alumni, board members say.
Organizers have said the longtime school space could be could be used as everything from a museum to a public-meetings hall to a venue for performing artists, once it’s fully restored.