Renovating Old Millboro School Requires Attention To Detail

Millboro, VA – Work is moving along on the old Millboro school. Recently a new roof was finished on all three buildings. The school is on the Virginia Landmarks Register so great attention to detail is required in the renovation work. Jackie Plecker is the president of the Millboro Preservation and Cultural Association, or MPCA, the organization that’s guiding the renovation.

Plecker says they have to restore the building exactly to the way it was originally built. That means restoring 3″ moldings rather than modern standards of 2 7/8″.

The old Millboro school consists of three buildings. Two main buildings, one built in 1918 and the other built in the 1930’s and a small building known as the home economics building. Renovation work is being taken step by step. Asbestos was removed from the buildings first.

The new roof is an important step to stop leaks and further deterioration inside. Plecker hopes to work on the gym floor next to repair some water damage. And the outside doors need to be either repaired or replaced.

The buildings still lack the basic necessities; electricity, water and sewer. The old school has been abandoned for about 20 years and the renovation work has brought some surprises.

It took almost a year for the MPCA to get its 501c3 non-profit status and with that, donations are now tax deductible. Plecker says there’s a great group of volunteers working on the project. They work on everything from grant applications, to hands on renovation work, to attending the meetings and helping with fundraisers.

The MPCA tries to do a fundraiser every month. They held a yard sale in June in the school’s gym and sold 50/50 tickets at the Millboro carnival in July. The MPCA will begin Hoagie [sandwich] sales again in September and plans to continue those every other month. And a tractor ride fundraiser is planned for September and another yard sale in October.

The next fundraiser coming up is Saturday August 28. It’s the Wildcat Festival featuring Dale Thompson and his Backyard Band and The Good Old Boys. It gets underway at 4pm and features a hot dog dinner with chips, drink, brownie and ice cream for $5.

“I don’t know of a single person that has ever been asked to give something whether it was a bag of hot dog buns, or a pan of brownies, or a homemade cake; everybody has been so good to give whatever you asked them to do” says Plecker.

When the renovation is complete the old Millboro school will have office space for rent, the gym and meeting rooms available for community events and eventually some apartments for rent.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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