Vance Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson shared his vision for the former Henderson Middle School campus recently with Vance County commissioners. The plan includes housing Vance Innovative Schools, as well as spaces for professional development and community use.
“We are excited about the impact this center will have for our staff, our students and in our community,” Jackson said in a written statement to WIZS. Originally unveiled to the school board in December 2020, Jackson shared the plan with commissioners at their Feb. 1 meeting.
Jackson predicts it will take $200,000 to replace the boiler in the main building and to make some cosmetic upgrades to other areas. That cost has been included in the district’s capital improvement budget; at this time, however, “we are not requesting any funding for the project from the county commissioners.”
The school opened in 1936; its last day as a middle school was in 2018, when the county’s two middle schools and two high schools were consolidated into one campus each. Vance County Middle School is located in the former Northern Vance High School. Since it ceased being a middle school, the former Henderson High School campus has housed several other school programs, but the new plan calls for a more comprehensive use of the space.
The building was in very good shape when the two middle schools consolidated, Jackson said, adding that the district had done a good job maintaining the building since then. Originally, the building was offered for sale, but with no immediate offers, Jackson said “instead of allowing it to fall into disrepair, we are using the space to meet district needs.”
Following is a list of specific programs and spaces that will be located in the building: (See map below)