Fire-ravaged historic Hildebran School gets new life as state-of-the-art park

HILDEBRAN, NC (WBTV) — A historic former school in Hilderbran that was ravaged by fire years ago will soon undergo a drastic change.

City leaders have just received a grant to turn the empty land the school stood on into a state-of-the-art park.

The old century-old building will be replaced by an amphitheater, walking paths and even a paddling pool.

“I remember people telling stories of kids jumping out of windows when they came here to get a burger.” said David Frye.

If you drove through the area and didn’t stop at Frye Daddy’s Diner, you really haven’t been through Hildebran.

“That’s my dish man here.” Frye told WBTV’s Ron Lee.

The restaurant has been around for a while, since the mid-70s. You can tell because it’s literally set in stone.

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

Owner David Frye took over the business from his grandfather and has seen much in the area over the years. Some are good and some not too good.

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

For many, there was a deeper connection.

“My mother went to this school, my father went to this school. They fell in love at this school. said Frie.

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

Today – it is a wasteland. No reason and no purpose, until now.

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

“Anything we can do to make it a downtown gem, that’s what we’re going to do.” Shook said.

Guests with high ambitions returning to Frye’s Diner are completely behind.

“A park that sounds exciting. And it’s nice to see the neighborhood come alive, rejuvenated. Todd Wright told us.

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

A revitalization project that goes well beyond a single park.

It would be great for us, and for everyone here. Frye was beaming.

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