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Historic Spaulding School gifted to resource center

Posted on January 11, 2021

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An investor who purchased the C.C. Spaulding School two years ago has gifted a portion of the property to the resource center, a nonprofit that previously used the building for two decades.

Lindell J. Kay | Enterprise

An investor who purchased the C.C. Spaulding School two years ago has gifted a portion of the property to the resource center, a nonprofit that previously used the building for two decades.

lkay@springhopeenterprise.com | 252-265-8117

SPRING HOPE — A pathway for the Spaulding Family Resource Center to return to the old C.C. Spaulding School is now possible after an investor who bought the property recently gifted part of the land to the nonprofit. 

The resource center received 10 acres of the property — including the buildings — as a gift on Dec. 30, the Nash County Tax Office confirmed last week.

After operating out of the old school building on Pine Street since the 1990s, the resource center moved to another downtown location about a year ago.

Scott McLaughlin through S&J Holdings purchased the 27-acre property for $173,911 in 2018 from the Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education after it declared the property surplus and sold it at auction. 

It isn’t immediately clear what McLaughlin plans to do with property he retains at the site. He didn’t return messages seeking comment in time for this story. 

McLaughlin has other investments in the area. With partners, McLaughlin purchased and refurbished the old Hardee’s headquarters in Rocky Mount. The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles moved into the building last month.

The resource center was allowed to remain at the old school for a year when the Global Achievers Charter School took over the property in mid-2018.

The charter school lost its license and closed when it failed to meet required attendance and other goals. The closure left the resource center alone in the empty school building.

The resource center then sought a new home because of the high cost of its lease at the old school. In 2019, the resource center moved into a former day care center at Nash and Walnut streets across from First Baptist Church.

The old day care property was auctioned off in March. The resource center has a lease that’s good for another year.

Town Manager Jae Kim also serves on the resource center’s board of directors. He said the nonprofit would more than likely have to apply for a conditional-use permit to be able to move back into the old school building.

The resource center wanted the property to preserve it, Kim said.

“They have a lot of work ahead of them,” Kim said. “They are no longer grandfathered in, so they would probably have to bring the building up to code. The center will have to deal with the county and the town.”

The town isn’t financially involved with the resource center, but Kim said the possibility exists the center could ask for the town’s help with funding.

The large and loyal C.C. Spaulding Alumni Association lost a year-long bidding war to purchase the old school. The group wanted the property to maintain its existence and identity, bidding $150,000 for it.

The Spaulding alumni and resource center aren’t the same entity, although the association supports the resource center, said Bernard Howard, president of the alumni association.

“We had nice plans for its use,” Howard said. “We were looking into a Boys & Girls Club.”

Spaulding was originally founded as a Black high school. Upon integration, the facility became a middle and elementary school before being closed decades ago.

The resource center offers a supervised play group for children up to preschool age, a computer lab with Nash Community College classes two days a week, senior bingo on Wednesday afternoons and a variety of seminars to benefit senior citizens. 

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