Home, sweet and scholarly, home.

A Tennessee father who purchased an abandoned school has renovated it into his family’s dream home.

Jason Collis of Ducktown acquired the dismantled Ducktown School, previously known as Kimsey Junior College, in 2021.

His daughter, Sarah Collis, debuted the family’s regal residence in a viral TikTok post on April 17, which has over 27.1 million views. The high school senior called her dad’s unconventional buy an “outta pocket decision” but admires his reasoning.

Jason Collis purchased the Ducktown School, previously known as Kimsey Junior College, located in Ducktown, Tennessee, in 2021. TikTok/@sarahmcollis

“The building is very important to the town’s history, it sat for years and was headed down hill. My dad bought it to restore and use for the town to avoid it being [torn] down. Dad believed it had too much potential to go to waste. It was something he felt like he ‘needed to do,’” she wrote online.

In the 19-second clip, Sarah gives a glimpse inside the worn-down building, which showcases old-fashioned school hallways, creepy flickering lights, exposed brick walls, chipped paint, and old furniture pieces.

In follow-up posts, she uploaded before-and-after clips of the school turned home to show followers the transformation of the abandoned facility.

The TikToker unveiled transformation clips of the deteriorated auditorium that turned into a modern livig space; the building’s spooky exterior which now has a refined ediface; and images of a former classroom that became her bedroom.

Sarah Collis, a high school senior, revealed before and after photos of her bedroom inside the school house. TikTok/@sarahmcollis
The room received a makeover with painted walls, furniture pieces and installed wood floors. TikTok/@sarahmcollis

Sarah’s spacious bedroom is coated with fresh beige and teal paint, new wood floors, four large windows without curtains, and lounge areas to watch TV, study or relax.

Ducktown School, which sits at 2018 TN-68, was abandoned in 2006, reported WTVC. Sarah’s dad attended the school from kindergarten through seventh grade and found being on the school grounds nostalgic.

“He actually finds things he wrote on desks, doors, walls, etc from years ago,” Sarah added. “Saying things like ‘Jason was here’.”

Some rooms in the house are still untouched. TikTok/@sarahmcollis

The building located in Polk County was built in 1933 and designed by the architect Reuben H. Hunt and served its purpose as a junior college and elementary school.

Collis’ 160-acre property, according to United States Department of the Interior National Park Service documents, features a renovated auditorium, gymnasium, cafeteria, playground, kitchen and a boiler room — preserved with the same haunting energy as the day they moved in.

“A lot of the school has been fixed up and looks nice. But there are still a few parts that look like this,” Sarah confessed on TikTok.

The Collis family uses the facility as a place to live and for the community. Different groups hold festivals, concerts, after-school club meetings, class reunions, and team practices in the gym or room rentals inside the historic building.

The family transformed the school into a family home and community center where events are held. TikTok/@sarahmcollis

Whenever the community hosts festivals, they will use the school cafeteria for catering and food services.

Although the property is available to the community, the family keeps some areas off limits, such as a kitchen that they use for personal meals and surveillance cameras, which are installed to maintain security.

The family’s private kitchen has an open floor plan with stainless steel appliances, a pantry and black counter tops, and a gray kitchen backsplash. Sarah admitted the current kitchen space is temporary while the family works on relocating the set up to another room.

They also have a white family dog named Ace and another black-and-white pooch, who’s name was not disclosed, that roam the school property.

Sarah’s 60,000 TikTok followers were astonished and intrigued by her family’s bizarre living situation.

“Why does it scare me,” confessed one watcher. “Is the property tax on this not insane?”

“Imagine the bills,” sighed another.



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