New Digs: School administration moves into renovated building

Published 1:48 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

Allen Mebane would be proud.

That pride would not be because the new administrative offices for the Davie County School System is named in his memory.

Rather, it would be for the strides the school system has made – mainly because of the Mebane Foundation which he founded – in increasing student performance, especially among young readers.

“Allen Mebane, he was a philanthropist,” said Larry Colbourne, president of the foundation, speaking at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the renovated building. “It was never about getting his name on a building.”

While he could sometimes ruffle feathers, Mebane was focused on his mission, Colbourne said. “He was about being a catalyst, getting things done.

“The Davie County School System meant a lot to Allen Mebane. He would be proud we made something of this old campus,” referring to the former “K” building on the old Davie High campus on US 601 South in Mocksville.

“Allen Mebane would be proud to have his name on this building, because it’s about the community, not Allen Mebane.”

He said Mebane believed in the three “T’s” of philanthropy – time, talent and treasure. “He was about bringing people together to get things done.”

Davie Schools’ Superintendent Jeff Wallace said naming the building after a man whose foundation has contributed millions of dollars into Davie County was an easy decision.

The foundation contributed $2.5 million for the Davie LEADS program, funded the Mebane Masters program for teachers, the Mebane Challenge, placed interactive technology into classrooms, and paid for construction of a preschool buidling at every elementary school site.

“The Mebane Education Center is more than just a physical space; it represents a testament to the tireless dedication of Mr. Allen Mebane and his innovation to education,” Wallace said. “This center symbolizes progress, collaboration, and a renewed commitment to fostering further excellence in education for Davie County’s students and educators.”

The opening also fulfilled the system’s promise to county residents that part of the old high school would be converted to the administrative offices, which mostly moved from the 110-year-old, former primary school building on Cherry Street.

“We appreciate the opportunity to be in this space,” Wallace said. “The relocation brings together many departments under one roof, allowing an environment of improved communication and collaboration, ultimately enhancing our efforts towards continuous improvement and education success of all students.”

He urged those at the ceremony to look at the big picture, how it takes an entire community to make a good school system.

“We’ve got to be a good county and that takes effort and work. What you are doing is truly making a diference to our kids,” Wallace said.

Called the Mebane Education Center, the renovated building also houses the virtual school, board of education meeting space and training spaces, with about 60 employees based there.

Previously known as the “K” building which housed the high school media center, student services, EC classrooms and performing arts classrooms, it underwent an extensive $6 million one-year renovation to transform the 30,120 square feet of space.

The school’s technology team will move from the Cherry Street location next year to the Central Davie campus.