The Kings Creek Alumni group is a VERY active group that is a HUGE supporter of our school year after year. We are fortunate to have the alumni group as such an active and integral part of our community. Mr. Lloyd Coffey, a member of the alumni group, graciously wrote an abbreviated history of the school for our website. If you are alumni of Kings Creek and would like to join the active Alumni group, please call the school at 828-754-6039 to give the secretary your name, phone number, email, and years you attended Kings Creek. We'll get that information right over to them!
History of Kings Creek School
The establishment of Kings Creek School resulted from action taken by the Caldwell County Board of Education on January 7, 1924. On that date, the Board put forth its initial recommendations for consolidation of the one- and two-room schools in several of the communities within the county. Relative to Kings Creek, the Board’s recommendation was for consolidation of all schools within the township into one school to be located near the site of Kings Creek Academy which stood near the present location of Kings Creek Baptist Church. This recommendation pertained to only the white schools within the township. Consolidation of the black schools within the county did not occur until thirty years later.
The schools included in the Board’s recommendation were Kings Creek Academy (mentioned previously), Beach Hill School (located on Blue Creek Road near the present location of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church), Carlton School (located near the Wilkes County line on Hollow Springs Circle), Mt. Bethel School (located in Grandin on Zacks Fork Road approximately 1/8 mile from its intersection with Grandin Road), and Green Mountain School (located on Zacks Fork Road near its intersection with Dug Hill Road). The Blue Door School, which had operated in earlier years in the Brushy Mountains northeast of the present location of Kings Creek School, and The Sheepskin School, which was previously located in the Brushy Mountains near the base of Cox’s knob, were not mentioned in the Board’s recommendation.
Following more than two years of working to satisfy state, county, and community requirements for consolidating the five schools, the Board authorized on March 8, 1926 purchase of the property for construction of the new school. The new structure, which consisted of ten classrooms; an auditorium; a library; a principal’s office; separate restrooms for male and female students; and a teachers’ restroom, opened as a junior high school (grades 1-9) at the beginning of the 1926-1927 school year. The Board approved the addition of grades 10 and 11 for the beginning of the 1927-1928 school year, making Kings Creek a standard high school.
At the beginning of the 1927-1928 school year, the Board also approved the transfer of sixth and seventh-grade students from Hibriten Academy to Kings Creek School. Hibriten Academy, which was located on what is now known as Wildwood Road, was part of the Lower Creek district. The remainder of the students from Hibriten Academy was transferred to Kings Creek at the beginning of the 1932-1933 school year. With the addition of grades 10 and 11 and the transfer of students from Hibriten Academy, overcrowding became a problem at Kings Creek. With too few classrooms in the building, many classes had to meet in the auditorium. To help alleviate this situation, the basement area underneath the northeast wing of the building was dug out and transformed into two classrooms for the beginning of the 1936-1937 school year, just in time for the transfer of all students from Cottrell Hill School to Kings Creek. Cottrell Hill School, also part of the Lower Creek district, was located on Cottrell Hill Road approximately 1/8 mile from its intersection with Zacks Fork Road. One of the two new classrooms also doubled as a cafeteria, serving in that capacity until the beginning of the 1952-1953 school year.
Overcrowding continued to be a problem in the 1940s. High school classes continued to meet in the auditorium, while some elementary classes met at Kings Creek Baptist Church. The problem was made even worse by the addition of twelfth grade at the beginning of the 1945-1946 school year. Construction on a second classroom building (known as the high school building) began in the fall of 1947. The building was completed and ready for use at the beginning of the 1948-1949 school year. Ironically, the new high school building was constructed during the same year that the members of the last graduating high school class (1966) were born. More relief from the overcrowding problem came in the fall of 1951 with the opening of Lower Creek Elementary School. For the 1951-1952 school year, students in grades 1-7 (approximately 135) from the former Hibriten Academy and Cottrell Hill School districts were transferred to Lower Creek Elementary School. Approximately 15 additional students were lost the following year with the addition of eighth grade to Lower Creek Elementary School.
Further additions to the campus occurred in the fall of 1952 with the opening of the current cafeteria and in the fall of 1957 with the opening of the gymnasium/vocational building. A Quonset hut that stood between the high school building and gymnasium provided space for a classroom and the school store. Few other changes occurred at the school until the fall of 1965. The Board had planned for the integration of Caldwell County Schools and consolidation of Kings Creek, Happy Valley, and Oak Hill high schools to occur simultaneously at the beginning of the 1965-1966 school year. However, with a failed bond referendum vote in 1963, construction on the new high school (not yet named, but later named Hibriten) was delayed, causing postponement of the consolidation for one year. The Board went ahead with the integration of the county schools, meaning that black students who lived in the Kings Creek School district and had previously attended either District Nine School in Dula Town or Freedman High School in Lenoir transferred to Kings Creek School for the 1965-1966 school year. At the end of that school year, the Board followed through with the consolidation plans and moved high school students from Kings Creek, Happy Valley, and Oak Hill to Hibriten, a move that left Kings Creek School as an elementary school with grades 1-8.
The latest changes to the Kings Creek School campus came in 1995 with the removal of the Quonset hut, the demolition of the original building and the addition of the new facility that houses the central office and the elementary grades and connects the former high school building to the gymnasium.