Abandoned Virginia: Central High School, Painter

Central High School is located on Lankford Highway (US Route 13) just outside Painter, Acccomack County, VA.  This 1932/1935 school was constructed in the Art Deco style, common for schools in the 1930s. Central High School joined students from Painter and Keller. In 1984, the school became the district middle school. The school grounds contain recreation fields, outbuildings, and additional classrooms. In 2005, the school closed. Read the National Register nomination here.


Central High School, Painter, VA.


1935 addition.


Side entrance.


Art Deco details above the side entrance.


View through the side door.


View through the windows.




On the athletic fields: “Central Bulldogs.”

In 2008, Tucker Robbins, a furniture designer from New York City, purchased the entire property for $150,000 with a vision to rehabilitate the school into a new home for his NYC based furniture manufacturing business, as well as an environmental-educational facility. Read about Tucker Robbins’ plan on his website. Unfortunately, his vision was not realized; and in 2015, he offered up the school for sale for $525,000. (Source: DelMarVANOW and Eastern Shore Post.) Fortunately, while he owned the building, Robbins did hire a consultant to nominate the school to the National Register of Historic Places (listed 2010).

Currently the property is listed for $350,000. Bonus: the asbestos abatement is completed inside the school building. Check the real estate for interior photographs. See this youtube video for an inside tour. Anyone want to buy a school? I hope this building has a bright future.

8 thoughts on “Abandoned Virginia: Central High School, Painter

  1. Jim Grey says:

    I hate to see old schools left to rot. Here in Indiana a lot of old schools have been converted to condos and apartments. The old Central High of my hometown is condos now, and one condo’s living room is the school’s old swimming pool. Very cool.

    • Kaitlin says:

      Agreed, Jim! I guess in rural areas, where the schools are not in the center of a village, it’s harder to find a use for a building. I often think, if that building were in Burlington, it’d be worth a fortune and snatched up immediately! The living room in old swimming pool sounds awesome!

  2. Peter Forbes says:

    We Veterans have watched this building for several years and wondered?? Why wouldn’t it be Donated to Veterans to Make into a Veterans Home, Organic Garden, Skills, Trade, Arts and Life Training Facility for All Veterans who are seeking a Second Chance and the chance to learn and give back? There again Veterans do not rate that highly. It is however IDEAL.

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