The New Hanover County School Board will build a new facility for Snipes Academy

Reported by Lynda Figueredo - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The New Hanover County School Board wants to replace the aging Snipes school with a new and more attractive facility.

The building on Chestnut Street has been home to students for nearly 66 years, and people who want Snipes saved say it's a valuable link to the city's past.

If the walls could speak, they would tell stories of Wilmington's youth and the changes they've seen throughout the years.

History buff George Edwards believes the school board's decision undermines efforts to preserve the city's past.

Tuesday, Jan. 6, the New Hanover County Board of Education approved a contract of nearly $150,000 to demolish all three of the Snipes school buildings.

Edwards says demolishing the buildings is like demolishing a piece of history.

"We says lets keep history, lets keep connection," said Edwards.  "Keep great art style and let's be somewhat environmentally sound. As it is, what their tearing down, much of it will go to a landfill."

But, Assistant School Superintendent Bill Hance says the contractor will reuse some of the building's materials.

Hance said the demolition plan was approved by the city and county preservation groups.  Edwards is disappointed the school board did not give the Historic Preservation Community to argue their side.

Construction for the new Snipes Academy should be completed by 2010.