July 4, 1922: A parade cheered through town, marching bands played, school children sang, and speeches were made to commemorate the laying of the cornerstone of the Old Rock School. A little over a year later, in October of 1923, it opened as an educational facility to all children. The building remained in continuous use until the late 1970's.
In 1986 renovations began after the Town of Valdese purchased the historic building to turn it into a multi-use facility. The Old Rock School is now the home of a 500 seat auditorium, 4 classrooms, 4 private businesses, 3 non-profits, an art studio, the Town of Valdese Community Affairs & Tourism Department, and a large event space that is rented by the public year-round.
The Community Affairs Office manages the full event calendar of the Old Rock School which includes movies, concerts, craft shows, pageants, and public celebrations throughout the year. The Old Rock School averages 2 events per day. The Old Rock School Auditorium has seen many talents from Bluegrass favorite Alison Krauss to legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd Drummer Artimus Pyle. The memories in this building can still be felt by the grooves worn into the original staircase from the thousands of feet that have traveled them.
The Old Rock School remains an iconic symbol of our community. All of the spaces in the School are available for public rental, so renters can enjoy the rich history of the Town while hosting their own special event. The Town of Valdese makes a tremendous effort to uphold the integrity and beauty of this historical site. The building was listed under the National Registry of Historical places in 1984.