Demolition Restarts On Old Plain View School

Community coalition, started in 2002, still planning for a park.

More visible work has taken place in recent days tearing down the old Plain View School.

Contractor Henry Elmore had been away from the job doing work in Florida following the destruction left by Hurricane Irma. Jim Schmidlin, treasurer of the Plain View Community Coalition, said that had been a clause in the agreement with Mr. Elmore that he could leave the job if the need arose. Still, Mr. Schmidlin said work had been ongoing inside of the school for the last six to eight months.

Now, a good portion of the walls are down.

Mr. Elmore has been repurposing the building materials at the school.

“The vast majority of the property on the interior has been repurposed — beams, wainscoting, windows, hinges, locks, all of the hardware. All of that was taken out piece by piece and shipped to Florida,” said Mr. Schmidlin, adding there are communities there where only older materials are allowed to be used in rebuilding. “Plain View Elementary School will live on for many more years. Bricks will be shipped to be used for landscaping. He’s taken all the metal he can take off for recycling. We’re not really intending to send a whole lot to the landfill,” Mr. Schmidlin said.

The Plain View Community Coalition’s goal is to have a park on the property of the old school, which was condemned. The group has $110,000 in the bank.

Exterior demolition has finally restarted at the old Plain View School where community members have been planning to have a park for the northern end of Sampson County since Sampson County Parks and Recreation stopped serving the area. The school, now condemned, was built around 1914. It burned once early in its life at Christmas, but was rebuilt. Contributed Photo

“We’d like to do something that has a full-sized multi-use field for football and soccer. We’d like to get lights. We already have a gym for basketball and volleyball. We’d like to have playground equipment and a walking trail,” he said.

“As a community we knew we needed to get rid of that school before anyone invested in that property,” he said.

The group hopes to pursue a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant from the state but must partner with a local government to seek the money.

The group, which is a nonprofit, is still raising money by selling bricks for $100 each which will later be used in a memorial at the school.

To donate, contact any member of the coalition or go online at where there is a link for sponsorships and donations. David Core is president and Ruth Carr is secretary.