Giving new life to the old Kuna Mora School

Posted at 2:47 PM, Jun 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-09 16:47:01-04

For years the old Kuna Mora School sat vacant, only to be broken into and decimated by those passing by and vandals, that is until now. Hristo Nedelcer, a local contractor, saw the potential in the skeleton of the old school and decided it was time to give it new life.

“I can definitely see it,” said Hristo. “This is like the best building. This is going to be great.”

The more than a hundred-year-old schoolhouse is one of the last remaining structures of the town of Mora, but now it is set to serve as Hristo’s dream home.

“It doesn't look like so great right now,” said Hristo  “The people that do construction, they can see the potential."

Hristo bought the old building a few years ago, but after watching it continue to be broken into and the few things that were salvageable get broken, he decided it was time to make a change.

“Finally I just thought I am going to move in here and start building as I go make it just a little bit livable,” said Hristo.

His goal, to restore it and make it look as much like the old building as possible. While it may seem like a daunting task to some, for Hristo there was no other option.

"the kids there are some that are 80 some years old, and some have passed away, but they love this place, they tear up every time they come here,” said Hristo “It’s just so nostalgic, and they are very happy that we are not going to tear it down. This is a work of art. You cannot tear it down.”

While it’s likely going to take a lot of time and energy, luckily he said he is working with greatness.

“Trying to build something like that these days is not very easy,” said Hristo "the people that built this school is superb. I mean, they are like Superman. You know I’ve built buildings, and this is supreme. Whoever built this knew what they were doing.”

The classrooms were likely full of joy and laughter for decades, and Hristo hopes that his home will soon also share that commonality.

I would like to have about 15 kids, but I don’t know if it’s going to happen. That’s why I bought a school, but you know we are working on it,” said Hristo.

But if he doesn’t get around to having all of those kids, it will be ok because he said this old school would never be empty as long as he lives in it.

“Everybody is welcome here. A lot of people stop here to take pictures everybody is welcome,” said Hristo “If they just wanna come in here and see it, knock on the door, I’ll show you the school.”

If the walls of the old schoolhouse could talk, they would have more than a hundred years of stories to tell. Hristo hopes that the number of stories will continue to grow just like the children who learned inside the building dead for so many years.

“I am just going to be here and maintain it and protect it and live here until I mean this is the last house I am going to be in,” said Hristo ”Maybe my son will take over after me and not let anything happen to this building. We are planning to have it around another 100 years. For as long as I’ll be around, I’ll preserve this.“