For a handful of older Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity brothers, Saturday was not for rest and relaxation.
Paul Holland and his fraternity brothers got up early that day, a scorcher by all accounts, and headed down to Schofield Middle School on Aiken's Northside. They arrived before 8 a.m.
There was a project to be done, after all.
At the entrance of Schofield Middle School stands a historic bell tower – the Schofield Normal and Industrial School bell tower, to be exact. It dates back to the 1800s, according to the black-and-white plaque mounted on one side.
The bell tower had seen better days. The wood was weak, if not rotted, in some areas, and the paint deserved a refresher.
So, Holland and his alumni brothers showed up with paint cans, brushes, rollers, ladders and, earlier in the week, some new wood. There was a batch of coffee, too.
"We try to maintain this, keep it up," Holland said as his fellow crew members poured paint, climbed scaffolding and cracked the odd joke. He described the bell tower as an artifact, one that deserves attention and the occasional beauty treatment.
The bell tower has a distinctly clay-red roof and bleach-white supports. The bell itself hangs firmly in the middle.
"If we don't keep it up," he said, "it will fall by the wayside."
The restoration effort is powered by volunteers. The crew of six there Saturday morning had their hands full.
"We do community projects throughout the world," Holland said, referencing Kappa Alpha Psi. He continued, "Our fraternity is based on achievement."
Holland said they've worked on the bell tower before. Each time, he explained, they get a thanks from people walking, riding or driving by.
"They love it," Holland said, smiling.