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What’s the history of the abandoned school at Hoover Road and U.S. 17 in Hampstead?

Ken Little
Topsail Middle School

This abandoned building near Hampstead once housed Topsail High and, later, Middle schools. (From the Facebook page ‘I went to Topsail Middle School’)

The former school building near the intersection of Hoover Road and U.S. 17 in Hampstead was once Topsail High School, said Joyce Keith, community schools director of Pender County Schools.

“It was converted to Topsail Middle School when the new Topsail High School opened in the 1970s,” Keith said.

The middle school moved out of the facility in the mid-1990s. The property was deeded to the Pender County government about the same time, Keith said.

The building served as an adjunct to Cape Fear Community College until 2005. Some volunteer fire department training activities still take place there, Pender County Manager Rick Benton said.

“It’s vacant. It’s been vacant for some years,” Benton said.

There have been proposals by private entities to renovate the building, which comes with a 10-acre property.

The old school and property are more attractive to developers “now that there’s plans to put in public sewer on the U.S. 17 corridor,” Benton said.

But, he added, “There are no plans to renovate the facility at this time.”

The building was included on the Historic Wilmington Foundation’s 2011 list of Most Threatened Historic Places in the region.

UPDATE: Pender County is moving forward with plans to renovate the old Topsail school building in Hampstead. Click here for the 2014 story.

User-contributed question by:
Shelby Gorski

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