Singer Gladys Knight attends the Soul Train Awards 2013 at the Orleans Arena on November 8, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Singer Gladys Knight attends the Soul Train Awards 2013 at the Orleans Arena on November 8, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada

*Gladys Knight is contributing thousands of dollars to save an abandoned North Carolina school where her mother was once employed.

The music legend and her husband Billy McDowell have reportedly paid $85,000 for the segregation-era school in Canton, North Carolina and are raising funds to turn it into a public recreation center, reports TMZ.

Knight and McDowell are now helping to raise the estimated $2 million renovation cost and the couple hope the project will help to preserve the community’s history.

Knight’s mother worked at the school as a janitor but the building has been remained unused since the 1950s when schools in the area were integrated.