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Gladys Knight

Best Thing That Ever Happened

To Abandoned NC School

2/10/2014 12:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF


Gladys Knight
is sinking a ton of her own cash into a $2 million project to save a North Carolina landmark -- a segregation era all Black school -- with ties to her family ... TMZ has learned.

Gladys tells TMZ she and her husband Billy McDowell are converting the abandoned building in Canton, NC ... where Billy's mother worked as a janitor. It's been sitting empty since the early 50s when schools were integrated there.   

Gladys and Billy are renovating the old school into a shiny new public rec center -- and already spent $85,000 just to buy the building ... but hope this will help keep the history of the community alive. 

They tell us they're actively raising funds to pay for the all upgrades ... which they estimate will cost a total of $2 mil.

That's what friends are for ... 


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The school closed in 1966. Here is a more detailed story from the local paper in Asheville NC.

222 days ago


This school is in my hometown!! I am excited for this to be happening for Canton. For all of you idiots that keep talking down about that area- you would have been lucky to have grown up there. We were blessed to have been raised in Papertown. We had teachers that cared about us genuinely. We were raised with good moral and family values. And what Gladys is doing for the area is a great thing!!!

219 days ago
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