OAK CITY, N.C. (WNCT) — Alumni of the old West Martin School are fighting to keep it alive.

Oak City uses it as a community center and for locals it stores a lot of memories.

“It means a very lot,” said Benjamin Baker, a community member. “Yes it is. My father and my grandfather went to Raleigh for this school to build it.”

What makes the building so special to the people of the community is that it has lots of memories from when it was a school. But after getting a failing mark on its septic test, it’s in jeopardy.

The Board of Education doesn’t have the money to keep it running.

“The amount of money that they think may be required to repair it would not be in their budget,” said Ronnie Smith, Martin County commissioner chairman.

So the alumni association, which is currently leasing the building, wants to continue their hard work and claim it as their own.

Commissioner Smith is all for it.

“That thought doesn’t even cross my mind that they would not transfer I,” said Smith. “Any niche that can bring a community together is what Oak City and this alumni association along with the citizens have done. We’ll do anything in our power to ensure it.”

The decision from the Board of Education to turn the school over to the alumni association will be announced in the coming weeks