MAN - For 82 years, Man Junior High School on Main Street housed students and teachers and shared fond memories of those who learned and laughed within the walls of the building.
Fourteen years ago, those students and teachers moved into a new school, and the usefulness of the building faded as time passed.
The abandoned school site, which has suffered fire damage, vandalism and multiple break-ins since its closure, has become an eyesore to many in the community.
The building, which is 97 years old, will be demolished Jan. 22. Mayor Jim Blevins made the announcement at Monday's Town of Man Council meeting.
Blevins said the original plan was for the building to be torn down Jan. 29, but council member Mavis Toler said she received a call confirming that the date be moved up to Jan. 22.
"A lady had called and wanted to know if there were any forms they needed to fill out," Toler said. "She told me that it would be January 22."
The Logan County Board of Education announced its plans for demolition at a Dec. 14 board meeting.
The board accepted a bid from Empire Salvage & Recycling Inc. of Bluefield for the amount of $238,982.
Council member Roger Muncy said he received a phone call from board president Paul Hardesty following the December meeting to confirm that they had accepted a bid to demolish the building.
"I have had people calling me about this building," Muncy said.
Hardesty said Dec. 14 that the land will be sold at auction following the demolition. A December 2013 appraisal estimates the property to be worth $570,000. The Logan County Board of Education is hopeful they will earn back the money spent on demolition as well as profit from the auction.
The building, originally known as Triadelphia District High School but later changed to Man High School, opened its doors in 1921 to accommodate the increased enrollment of Man High School.
The building continued to house Man High students until 1954, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of segregation in Brown v. Board of Education. Three years later, students were moved to a new school in Hensley Heights after Man High School consolidated with the former Buffalo High School, an African-American school located between Crown and Accoville on Buffalo Creek.
Man Junior High School closed in 2003 when its students were moved to the newly constructed Man Middle School just a little over a mile away on Huff Creek Highway in Mallory.
Multiple attempts to save the building were explored. The Logan County Housing Authority approached the board with plans to tear down the building and build a 40-unit housing complex using grant money, but the Housing Authority was turned down and told to reapply for the grant in May 2018.
The Board of Education offered a transfer of the property to the town of Man and the Logan County Commission, but both denied the request.
At a Nov. 28 meeting, a group of Man Area Buddy League parents approached the board about obtaining the Man Junior High gymnasium due to a lack of facilities for the practice and games. However, it was deemed that the gym would not be salvageable due to asbestos.
Bill Lusk is a news and sports reporter for the Logan Banner and can be reached at 304-752-6950. Follow him on Twitter @LogBannerSports.