'A month ago we signed it, and now it's being painted over'

LOWELL, Ore. -- Students at Lowell High School are working to protect a wall covered with memories of past students from being painted over. School officials, however, feel the chipped and aging wall needs to be replaced.

"It was hard to hear," said 2014 graduate Chelsea Roberts, "A month ago we signed it, and now it's being painted over."

Roberts is just one of hundreds of Lowell High grads since 2004 that have signed the "Wall of Memories". She started a Facebook group in an effort to convince the district to stop them from covering up what has become a local tradition.

"I grew up looking at this wall at every sporting event, and hung out with friends by this wall. Seeing all my brothers and sisters and their friends by it. I just have a lot of memories on the wall in this hallway," Roberts said.

The painting project comes as part of a $2 million district-wide reconstruction project.

"If this is a tradition, which it seems to be, then we need to build on that tradition," said Lowell School Superintendent Walt Hanline, "We need to talk about how to build on the tradition at the same time deal with issues on the wall."

Roberts said she agrees with Superintendent Hanline that schools in the district should be remodeled, but hopes there is still a way to preserve a decade long tradition.

"Creating some kind of canvas or billboard (of the wall). They have systems you can take the picture of the wall," said Roberts.