Northfork High School

The McDowell County School Board has decided to demolish Northfork High School. 

NORTHFORK — The famed Northfork High School in McDowell County will be demolished.

School Board President David Williams said the decision was recently made by the board.

“Yes, they are going to tear it down,” he said. “The contract (for demolition) has already been accepted.”

Williams said he is not sure yet when the demolition work will start, and it is weather dependent.

The high school achieved fame during the 1970s when the boys basketball team set a national record by winning eight consecutive state championships, as well as one in 1971 and in 1984.

In 1976, ‘77 and ‘79, the Northfork girls team won state championships.

Coach Jennings Boyd’s 15 years at Northfork High School were remarkable, as he garnered a 307-62 mark overall before stepping down after the ‘81 championship season.

Some of the town’s businesses had signs posted on Rt. 52 at each end of the town that gives those statistics, and proclaiming the Town of Northfork “Basketball Capital of the United States.”

The gym at the high school would hold only about 900 but it was usually packed with well more than 1,000 for games, according to various reports.

The high school became a middle school in 1985 after Mt. View High School was built and Northfork High students transferred there.

But the floods of 2001 and 2002 badly damaged the school to the point the middle school had to close and the structure has been vacant since.

After closing, the school, including the famous gym, started falling into disrepair.

Many in the community wanted to save it, but no options were available.

— Contact Charles Boothe at

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