Davie County Schools Celebrates the new Mebane Education Center

Davie County Schools has officially unveiled its new central administration building, the Mebane Education Center. Aptly named in honor of the gifts the Mebane Foundation has given to the Davie County School System throughout the years, its opening was celebrated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on November 28th.

The ceremony marked a significant milestone for the larger community and school system, fulfilling a plan set out with the bond referendum to build the new high school passed back in 2014. Included in the referendum were plans to convert the former high school building into central administration offices.

Over the past 25 years, the Mebane Foundation has given nearly $8 million to educational initiatives in Davie County, including Mebane Master’s, Hill Center reading programs,  DavieLEADS, the Mebane Technology Challenge, as well as construction of the preschools at each elementary school. Given the Foundation’s long-standing commitment to the school system, a citizen recommended naming the facilities after Allen Mebane.

A Significant Milestone

Opening remarks at the ceremony were delivered by Jeff Wallace, Davie County Schools Superintendent.

“Today, we’re here to celebrate the opening of the Davie County Schools Mebane Education Center, but we’re also here to actualize an idea and to fulfill a pledge we made to the citizens of Davie County in 2014. We said that we would renovate and occupy this facility with the same purpose of serving children. And that’s what we’re here to celebrate today,” Wallace stated.

“This renovation brings together many departments under one roof, allowing an environment of improved communication and collaboration to ultimately better serve the children of Davie County.”

He thanked the Mebane Foundation, Board of Education, Board of Commissioners, and Davie Construction for their support throughout the renovations.

“Many of you have poured into what’s happening today, and you’ve poured into students. That encourages us and helps us stay focused.”

“What you’re doing is truly working for those kids. Let’s not forget that.” he said.

Honoring Allen Mebane’s Legacy

Larry Colbourne, president of the Mebane Foundation, welcomed those present that day. 

“On behalf of my board,  and Marianne Mebane especially, thank you for deciding to name this after the Mebane Foundation. It’s a real honor.” he stated.

“This is actually bittersweet. Davie County Schools meant a lot to Mr. Mebane. For years Allen was trying to get a new high school built, and he never got to see that come to fruition.

“If Allen were here today, he’d be so happy and so proud to have his name on this building.  He’d be proud of the school system, the county, and everybody. He’d be proud of the new high school. But he’d be even more proud of what you’ve done with this facility, that you took this building and made something of it,” he continued.

Colbourne thanked everyone for their efforts that led to the center’s reopening. 

“When I think about philanthropy, I think about the three T’s – your time, your talent, and your treasure. Everybody gave one of those T’s, and in some cases, some of you gave all three. As we go forward together as a community, let’s continue to do that. That’s what Allen would want, and that’s what we deserve as a community to continue to do.”

“At the end of the day, for Allen Mebane, it was about community and bringing people together. He was a catalyst for much of this; it was all about the kids. That’s what mattered to Allen.” 

The conference room at the Mebane Education Center will facilitate Board of Education meetings and large trainings held by Davie County Schools

A New Face to Davie County Schools

The original building was first opened in 1994, closing in 2017 when Davie County High School moved to its current location. The renovations to the Education Center totaled just over $6 million and were completed by Davie Construction Co., who began their work on the facility in the summer of 2022. In just one year, staff began moving into the new building.

The opening of the Education Center allows for district-level leadership to be housed in one facility, which was formerly split between locations at Central Davie and Cherry Street.

The center sits atop of the former library and guidance counselor offices at the old Davie County High. The building is adjacent to the new Davie Community Park, which encompasses the amphitheater and water park. The building houses the virtual school, conference and training rooms, as well as traditional office spaces. The signature conference space facilitates large district-wide events, including teacher workshops and monthly Board of Education meetings.

Jinda Haynes, Assistant Superintendent, was among many staff members who shared excitement for the new space. “This allows everyone to come together. It’s unbelievably helpful for us all to be all in one building. To have the people you need right across the hall is tremendous,” she said.

On-site staff members include student and social services, psychologists, nurses, literacy specialists, and even physical therapists. It serves as home base to around sixty employees, many of whom can more often be found often out in the county, moving between the schools they work with.

Wendy Horne, Chair of the Davie County Board of Education, also shared her admiration of the Mebane Foundation.

“I can’t think of anyone better than the Mebane Foundation for this facility to be named after. Their mission statement is ‘preparing children for life through literacy.’ One thing I’ve always admired about the Foundation is that that’s always been 100% evident in everything they do. Their mission has always been front and center. And I applaud you all for that.” she remarked.

“Thank you all for everything you’ve done, and thank you all for coming out. It really is a beautiful facility and something we should all be proud of.”

The Board of Commissioners, Board of Education, Davie Construction, and Davie County Schools staff members participated in the ribbon cutting alongside Wallace and Colbourne. Attendees were welcomed for a tour of the facilities, seeing first hand the transformation of the former high school.

The Davie County Board of Commissioners, Board of Education, and Davie Construction Co. celebrate with Davie County Schools staff after the ribbon cutting