A massive fundraising campaign to renovate the high school’s auditorium was the Senior Gift project chosen by the senior class of 2016. The auditorium, built in 1969, is the largest auditorium in the Knox County school system. Originally built to seat 1,250 people, only 1,204 seats remained because 46 seats were taken apart to repair other seats.
Because of its large capacity, the BHS auditorium is used not only for Bearden events, but many community functions and forums like county-wide teacher training, collegiate fairs for area high schoolers, and community artistic productions such as dance recitals, dramas, musicals and symphonies.
The fundraising campaign - dubbed “Get the Best Seat in the House” - sought to increase capacity and improve seat quality through community donations and by encouraging the purchase of a personalized nameplate for one of the new seats for $200. The campaign also involved the Bearden Foundation, the Bearden PTSO and Bearden alumni. The auditorium renovation project is one of the largest Senior Class gifts in the school’s history.