The Saddest School: West Liberty High

The flowers of gold have grown from the tears shed here.
For me, the saddest part of Liberty, in my opinion, is the West Liberty High-School known colloquially as "The Old School", in what was once, and often commonly today is still called West Liberty. The school, closed in 1966 and was the newest of the Randolph County's schools at the time. Racial integration occurred,  but due to opposition and racism at the time from white residents,  the decision was made to bus black students to the older "white" school downtown, rather than have them endeavour into "black" side of town. A million dollar decision that left the Old School, abandoned for all time to whither in time. Today it still sits vacant, untouched since those fateful days in American history where the destiny of this school was determined. By doing so, more than just a high-school that was closed, it "meant a loss of community and pride." (cite) It was "devastating."

Abandoned Liberty

West Liberty, NC High School

Barbed wire where laughter once echoed.

Many times throughout the years, the school had been at the forefront of politics once again. An attempt to revamp the decaying structure into a community center, or government office, was thwarted by the fact the property is now in the hands of private ownership, a Californian who doesn't even live here. The question many citizens keep asking is, since it's in such disrepair, a shelter to local vagabonds and the homeless, dangerous to neighborhood children, while horses graze outside; can we not, condemn and seize the property if the owner fails to fix it up? I've been asked, shouldn't this property, the high-school, be held to the same responsibilities of property ownership we expect from anyone in our community? To keep it clean, beautiful, and beacon for our community? What might be a very historical footnote, in dark time in America could be an asset to the community today. An opportunity to bring something good out of something that may have been a reminder of sorrow for so many. I can think of now greater honor than our city council, passing legislation that takes back the school if repairs are not made. A chance to do good in the world and return it to the people. A legacy.


Horses graze in the grass.


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