Roland E. Cook developer has ties to Vinton

VINTON–Vinton Town Council approved the request of Old School Partners, LLC, to rezone the Roland E. Cook property for redevelopment at their meeting on November 17.

Old School Partners is a local team which formed just for this project and includes landscape architect David Hill, president of Hill Studio, developer Dale Wilkinson, builder Greg Rhodes, and attorney David Spigle. All live in the Roanoke area, but Hill actually has connections to Vinton.

His mother, Sue Plunkett, and her brothers Harry and Pete, grew up here.

 Landscape architect David Hill of Hill Studio is a member of Old School Partners, LLC, who will be re-developing Roland E. Cook School. His mother Sue Plunkett attended Roland E. Cook and graduated from William Byrd High School in 1950.
Landscape architect David Hill of Hill Studio is a member of Old School Partners, LLC, who will be re-developing Roland E. Cook School. His mother Sue Plunkett attended Roland E. Cook and graduated from William Byrd High School in 1950.

“The Roland holds a very personal interest for me,” said Hill. “My mom and her brothers grew up in Vinton and attended Roland E. Cook as well as William Byrd High School. Although I grew up in Roanoke, I spent many a Sunday afternoon playing on the porch or in the yard at my grandfather’s house on Washington Street.”

Sue Plunkett graduated with the Class of 1950; Harry in 1949; and Pete was a member of the Class of 1957.

Hill comes from a family of achievers. His mother was president of the Senior Y-Teen Club (affiliated with the YWCA) and the Booster Club in her senior year at WBHS.  She served as vice president of the SCA and the Senior Y-Teen Club as a junior.  She was also a member of the Speech and Debating Club and played girls’ basketball.

 Hill's uncle, Harry Plunkett, graduated with the WBHS Class of 1949.
Hill’s uncle, Harry Plunkett, graduated with the WBHS Class of 1949.

Hill’s Uncle Harry was president of the Senior Class and in the top ten academically. His uncle Pete Plunkett served as president of the Debate Club.

Hill's uncle, Pete Plunkett, was a member of the WBHS Class of 1957.
Hill’s uncle, Pete Plunkett, was a member of the WBHS Class of 1957.
 David Hill, landscape architect and president of Hill Studio, is part of the team redeveloping Roland E. Cook School.
David Hill, landscape architect and president of Hill Studio, is part of the team redeveloping Roland E. Cook School.

Hill graduated from North Cross High School. He earned his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture at Virginia Tech in 1984 and his Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University in 1988. He founded Hill Studio that same year. His design firm has worked extensively on various projects in Vinton including the CDBG downtown revitalization project and the façade program for downtown businesses.

 

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