There was a time when Brookneal was a center of progress.
"In the 60's and 70's it was a booming town," said Ron Parker, who grew up in Brookneal. "We had industry everywhere."
Today, most of the industries are gone and so are many people.
"The population has left and it's kind of turned into a really dead area," Parker said.
Fewer residents means fewer students. Less than 400 go to William Campbell High School, which serves Brookneal.
Other county high schools have more than a thousand students. That's one reason why the school board is thinking about consolidation.
"I think it would bring a lot of opportunities," said Parker, who has a daughter at William Campbell.
He thinks a larger school will offer more advanced classes and better prepare students for college.
"I think there could be a lot of pros and there will always be some negatives," Parker said. "I think there will be more pros to it."
Under the current consolidation proposal, William Campbell would be one of the first schools to close. The new consolidated school could be built about 10 miles north, between Gladys and Rustburg.
"They'll have to travel such long distances to get to school," said Ann Jones, a Campbell County resident worries consolidation will erase family spirit of communities like Brookneal.
"The children these days have gotten used to growing up in these areas and going to school with the same children," said Jones. "When you consolidate and you have a big school, the kids aren't related to anybody."
Some believe consolidation is a good idea, but not while the economy is weak and funding is tight.
"I think maybe it would be a good idea later on, if they want to do this, but at this time I think we should wait a little while," said Campbell County resident, Eunice Garrett.
The Campbell County school board is scheduled to take up consolidation at its meeting Monday night. It's at the Campbell County Technical Center in Yellow Branch and starts at 7 p.m.