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Historic Hildebran school ravaged by fire gets new life as state-of-the-art park

An old historic school in Hildebran that was ravaged by fire years ago will soon go through a dramatic change.
An old historic school in Hilderbran that was ravaged by fire years ago will soon go through a dramatic change.
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 5:16 PM EST
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HILDEBRAN, N.C. (WBTV) - An old historic school in Hilderbran that was ravaged by fire years ago will soon go through a dramatic change.

Town leaders were just awarded a grant to turn the empty lot the school stood on into a state-of-the-art park.

Where 100-year-old building once stood will be replaced with an amphitheater, walking trails and even a splash pad.

“I remember people telling stories of kids jumping out the window coming down here to get a burger.” David Frye said.

If you’ve driven through the area and not stopped into Frye Daddy’s Diner, you really haven’t gone through Hildebran.

“This is my dish man right here.” Frye told WBTV’s Ron Lee.

The diner has been around for a bit, since the mid-seventies. You can tell because it’s literally carved in the concrete.

“1978. And right there it says ‘Frye’”. the owner said looking at a carving in the floor.

Owner David Frye took the business over from his grandfather and has seen a lot in the area over the years. Some good, and some not-so-good.

“It wasn’t just a school, it was a big piece of history.”

For many, there was a deeper connection.

“My Mom went to that school, my Dad went to that school. They fell in love in that school.” Frye said.

Townspeople wanted to save and restore the 100-year-old Hilderbran School, but a devastating fire six years ago brought those hopes to an end.

Today - it’s an empty lot. No reason and no purpose, until now.

Logan Shook, the town manager says they just received a grant for close to $290,000 to revitalize the area. A new park, pavilion and walking trails.

“Whatever we can do to make it a jewel for downtown that’s what we’re going to do.” Shook said.

Lofty ambitions customers back at Frye’s Diner completely get behind.

“A park-like that sounds exciting. And it’s nice to see the area come alive, be rejuvenated.” Todd Wright told us.

“I think it’s great, absolutely great. Serve the community well I think.” customer Jimmy Barber said.

A revitalization project that goes far beyond just one park.

It would be awesome for us, and everybody else around here.” Frye beamed.

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