As was reported in the Eastern Shore News, folks in Accomack have taken on the task of keeping the old Mary N. Smith High School in the public domain. A $40,000 grant (with $23,000 raised by alumni and private citizens), will constitute the first phase of renovations to the old school, which will be reborn as the Mary N. Smith Center for Cultural Enrichment.
Just as Old School Cape Charles proposed an affordable, phased renovation, focusing on the first floor offices and gymnasium as phase one, the work at Mary N. Smith will initially focus on the first floor, mainly the eastern portion of the building.
In an interview with the Eastern Shore News, Jesse Poulson, president of the Mary N. Smith Alumni Association said, “We chose to work on the areas where the largest numbers of people can be served. Our challenge now is to get some young people involved who will carry the torch.”
This phase of the renovation is estimated to be ready in December 2016, which includes the installation of air conditioning and a new heating system. While the first phase of this renovation is beginning with only $60k, it should be noted that in Cape Charles, the town held an insurance policy payment for $61k (due to earthquake damage), which it turned over to developer J. David McCormack. The cost to repair the damage was under $3000.00, which might have been put towards work inside the school.