Community reacts to school closing after more than 70 years

CHADBOURN, NC (WWAY) —  With less than three weeks until the start of a new school year, WWAY learned Monday night that one school in Columbus County will not welcome back students.

Chadbourn Middle School has been around for more than 70 years under different names, and the community seems sad to see its doors close.

School secretary Delois McKenzie has a deep connection to the school.

“I wish we could have had another year,” said McKenzie, who has worked at the school for 45 years.

Decades of memories inside these halls, which will soon echo with silence.

With less than three weeks until the start of a new school year, the Columbus County School Board voted 3-1 to close the school.

“The community feels like they have lost a loved one. Because this is where they went to school, their parents went to school, their grandparents went to school,” said McKenzie.

Students will be sent more than nine miles away to Evergreen K-8 school, creating complications for some parents.

“Some of the children can walk to school. Now they move them somewhere else, I don’t know how they’re going to get there, some parents don’t have cars,” said parent Ida Mae Kelly.

Kelly says she does not like how the situation was handled.

“I feel like, in my heart, they knew before two weeks that this school was going to close,” said Kelly.

Columbus County Schools superintendent Alan Faulk says teachers will be reassigned to Evergreen and other schools.

“Still working on reassigning all the staff, but I think that most of them will be reassigned, well I know that most of them will be reassigned,” said Faulk.

Faulk does not know what will happen to the building.

“That will be the school board’s option, I assume that they will probably turn it over to the county commissioners,” said Faulk.

Categories: Columbus, Local