A former NFL player, with ties to Kinston, is the new owner of an old school in Lenoir County.

Former New England Patriot Lin Dawson made a $22,000 bid for the old Sampson School, located on the east side of Kinston. The building was closed in 2012, after school board officials said it was too old and damaged to repair.

The Lenoir County Board of Commissioners recently approved Dawson's bid. As the building's new owner, Dawson plans to turn it into a community center.

Dawson grew up in Kinston and went to the Sampson School in the 1960s. He said the school had a positive impact on his life, and he wants to continue that in the area.

“Kinston is my home and there is nothing that would make me more proud than to see the community back to as it was in the day,” Dawson said.

The building needs around $750,000 of work. Dawson expects to close on the property in the next few weeks, and hopes to start construction sometime this summer.