Sampson Independent

Plain View park project moves ahead

DUNN — For many years, the old Plain View School was a historic landmark in the community. Soon, it’s going to disappear.

With a goal to build a new park, the demolition of the site is the first phase of the project in the northern region of Sampson County. The Plain View Community Coalition, received its first donation in November 2015.

“Now, the front half of the building should be down by the end of this week and completely gone,” Treasurer Jim Schmidlin. “We’re excited that the project is underway and nearing a conclusion.”

The razing of the abandoned structure started in 2017 with a groundbreaking ceremony and is expected to be completed by the end of June. A lot of material such as metal and bricks are being recycled from the building. It’s about 50 percent finished with historical spaces such as the cafeteria and auditorium gone.

Plain View School was built in the 1920s with classrooms and an auditorium. Later, a cafeteria was added in 1953. The was completed in 1986. Many children in the community where educated in the building for many years, until a new school was built in 2001.

“We’ve had numerous people look at it years ago to see if this building could be saved and reused for something else,” he said. “That time already passed and it already decayed too much.”

He added that the building had a great legacy in the community and educated a lot of people over the years.

“We want something in the community now that can help us go forward and be a resource for families and children in the community for years to come,” Schmidlin said. “That has always been our vision.”

The coalition was created in 2002 as a nonprofit organization, with a purpose to rehabilitate the site, which sits on 7.5 acres. Some of the plans include a multi-use field for football and soccer, playground, walking trail and a covered shelter for events such as farm markets. The next step is finding grant money for the developments.

“There’s a lot of things that we’ll like to do, but we’re not there yet,” Schmidlin said.

With $110,000 in the bank, the organization is still taking donation for future developments. According to plans, the next phase will include the construction of a Plain View Memorial Wall with original bricks from the building. Bricks are being sold for $100 each.

“We look forward to having more community support,” he said. “They’ve been extremely supportive and we can’t thank them enough. We have big plans for what we want to do in this community and we would like for people to help if they could.”

The organization is accepting donations online at

Demolition is underway at the old Plain View Elementary School. is underway at the old Plain View Elementary School.
A portion of the old Plain View building comes down courtesy of some heavy equipment. portion of the old Plain View building comes down courtesy of some heavy equipment.
School demolition phase well underway

By Chase Jordan

Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.