Old Parker High sold

School could once again serve youth

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The auditorium is listed on the list of historic places. Greg Beckner/Staff

The old Parker High School could once again be a place where Greenville County students are educated.

The Greenville County school board voted Tuesday afternoon to sell the historic high school and its auditorium, a picturesque 82-year-old building which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Campbell Young Leaders, a local nonprofit organization which supports children’s programs, will pay $869,000 for the school, auditorium, football field and two lots across the street from the main campus.

“Parker High means a lot to me as well as to a lot of people,” said trustee Lynda Leventis-Wells before the sale received unanimous approval during the special meeting.

Parker closed in December 2006.

It served as a temporary home for Greenville High, one of Parker’s big rivals when it was one of Greenville’s most noted high schools, while Greenville’s Vardry Street campus was being renovated.

Prior to that, Parker had served as a middle school.

School district officials said they hoped the facility could be used as a school again, perhaps for an expansion of the Fuller Normal Charter School.

William Brown is the head of Campbell Young Leaders and also serves as the chairman of the Fuller Normal Charter School board.

When reached by telephone Tuesday, Brown would say only plans for the Parker facility have not yet been finalized but he expected the facility’s use would “certainly have to do with children.”

The Parker auditorium was built by the Depression-era Works Progress Administration in 1938, and was the largest WPA school project in South Carolina. The auditorium cost $50,000 to build.

Alumni rallied to save the auditorium several years ago when there was a chance it could meet the wrecking ball as a part of the school district’s now-completed $1 billion construction plan. At the time, the school district planned to renovate the school but there was no money included for the renovation of the auditorium, a project estimated to cost $4.5 million.

The school board eventually decided to close the school.

At one time, there was talk Parker would make a perfect location for a college-level arts institute. But nothing happened with the idea.

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