Vacant to Vibrant

Vernon Malone College and Career Academy

Share a Coke.

An empty building, formerly a Coca-Cola bottling plant, languished in a South Raleigh neighborhood. The neighborhood bore the burden of this lost building, occupying valuable land on a downtown corridor but devoid of activity. Meanwhile, a significant number of high school students occupied nearby classrooms, not fully participating in educational programs which didn’t quite fit.

Stagnation benefits no one, and so the prime stakeholders came together to hatch a plan. A three-way collaboration between the Wake County School Board, Wake County, and Wake Technical Community College created a curriculum designed to set things in motion. This unprecedented collaboration offered a unique win-win-win opportunity: to salvage an underutilized site, provide a leading-edge alternative educational facility for high schoolers, and expand educational options for local community college students. The project was spearheaded by Wake County Facilities Design and Construction, and involved continuous review and input from the boards governing each of the three partners, including the Wake County Board of Education, the Wake County Commissioners, and the Wake Tech Board of Trustees.

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