Former Big Creek High School


The walls of Big Creek High School came down on Thursday as demolition crews complete the task of demolishing the former Big Creek High School.

WAR — The walls of Big Creek High School are totally down, but the community hopes that a museum project centered on artifacts from the school will keep memories of the school alive.

“When the school closed, the board of education thought the city was going to take it over, but we couldn’t afford to even keep it secure, so we didn’t take it,” War Mayor Kitten Cempella said. War city hall is already located in an historic structure — the old board and batten Norfolk & Western train depot.

Cempella said that the city agreed to take the memorabilia from the school and store it for a possible future use.

“A group called the School Improvement Group, formed about eight months ago and started working on the idea of developing a museum dedicated to Big Creek High School here in town,” Cempella said. “We have been holding back on giving them the memorabilia until they get a little further along, but we want to help them.”

In order to help, the city will display a sampling of a few BCHS artifacts in the lobby of the Dr. Thomas C. Hatcher Community Center during the Fall Festival, Sept. 11-12. The Hatcher Center is in the former BCHS fieldhouse located behind the site of the old school. The fieldhouse was not damaged in the July 17 fire that gutted the old high school.

The School Improvement Group will be doing some fundraising during the festival, Cempella said.

— Contact Bill Archer at

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