The former Big Creek High School is the alma mater of Homer Hickam Jr. and four friends who became national science fair champions in 1960.
Hickman's memoir "Rocket Boys" about their homemade experiments during the U.S.-Soviet space race became a best-seller. It was the basis for the 1999 movie that starred Jake Gyllenhaal.
Big Creek opened in 1932 and closed in June. Mayor Tom Hatcher of the city of War says the building is too deteriorated to be saved.
McDowell County Schools Superintendent Jim Brown says the former high school is expected to be demolished before winter.