DUNN — Members of the Plain View community are continuing their efforts to build a park with features such as a walking trial, farmers market and ball fields.
The Plain View Community Coalition is hosting a fundraiser and meeting Thursday, Feb. 8 at the center, 5561 Plain View Highway, Dunn. It begins at 6 p.m. with a spaghetti dinner, followed by a $1,500 reverse raffle drawing at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $60 per ticket and includes two dinners. Proceeds will benefit the Plain View Community Center.
The coalition set a goal to raise $150,000. So far, they’ve collected $111,000. Group members sponsored soccer camps, plate sales and sent brochures to homes in the area to form community members of the plans.
“We had very good community support and donations are still being accepted,” said Treasurer Jim Schmidlin.
After the raffle on Feb. 8, a town hall meeting will be held at 7 p.m. with Clark Wooten, chairman of the Sampson County Board of Commissioners, and other local officials. Updates will be provided on the tearing down process, future plans and other steps towards progress.
Remediation is underway at the school, where the park will sit. A groundbreaking was in held in 2017 next to the deteriorating building that had broken windows. Schmidlin and other coalition members were present along with former school leaders and students. On that day, a demolition crew began the process to knock it down. 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.
Sampson County Commissioners transferred the property to the community. The coalition was created in 2002 as a nonprofit organization, with a purpose to rehabilitate the area. Fundraising efforts began in 2015 for the razing, which sits on 7.5 acres.
Cleanup crews are currently trying to recycle as much as they can. Workers also removed about 20 percent of the school already. Schmidlin expects the task of removing the large school structure to be completed within several months.
The razing of the abandoned Plain View Elementary is the first phase of the project. According to plans, the next phase will include the construction of a Plain View Memorial Wall with original bricks from the building. The wall will include donor plaques. Benches will also be installed. An effort to save the cupola from the original building are also included in the plans. Phase III is pursuing grants and fundraising for Northern Sampson County Park.
Tickets for the event are available now and only 150 will be sold. If any tickets are left, they will be sold at the door. For more information, call 910-263-1275.
Details regarding the project, donations, brick purchases and sponsorship is available online at www.plainviewcc.org.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.