THOMASVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — The City of Thomasville is revealing its plan for the future of the Kern Street School.
The building has been empty for years after two large fires brought the roof and a large part of the structure to the ground.
City leaders plan to demolish the Old Kern Street School and use the land for around 12 affordable homes.
“In any community right now, affordable housing stock is very low, and a lot of them really need renovations,” said Toby Prince, executive director of Home Solutions of Davidson County.
The city is working with Home Solutions of Davidson County to give more people a permanent home.
“By building new houses and having a pocket park and those kinds of things, that’s going to really increase the public’s perception of what this area is,” Prince said.
A small park for kids living nearby is a bonus, according to one parent.
“As long as they have a swing there, they’re good, so anything really, a park just makes it look good,” Oscar Penate said.
According to Assistant City Manager Eddie Bowling, the city is applying for a rural development grant from the state.
If they get the grant, they’ll receive around $900,000 for demolition, environmental testing and construction.
“Our goal is to revitalize the entire neighborhood, to lift the entire community up. What you see is people taking more pride in their property, and they’ll start doing updates to their home when they see improvements,” Bowling said.
Bowling hopes this grant could lead the way to other funding opportunities to transform other vacant buildings like the Church Street School.
The earliest city leaders could hear back about the grant by the middle of June.
If the grant falls through, they plan to use leftover COVID relief funds for the project.