Booker T. Washington High School Becoming a Historic Landmark

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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV)-- A community center and school is now being recognized as a historic landmark.

Members of the Staunton community hope it's a chance for Booker T. Washington High School to be more of a focal point in the community.

As a landmark, alumni are hoping that these classrooms will be filled with more offices and community based events.

"I do think it will bring more African Americans to the city, knowing that this historic landmark does sit here in the middle of one of our oldest historic black neighborhoods," said Ophie Kier, a Staunton City Council member.

This building opened in 1936 as the only high school for African Americans in Staunton.

Council members said there's only so much they can do with the budget, but thanks to the historic designation, it's possible people can use grant money to expand programs and renovate.

Council member Ophie Kier suggested adding more parking and renovating some classrooms inside.

During segregation, Kier said this community center was a second home to many.

"It was the only place that we were allowed to go. we couldn't go downtown to performances," said Kier.

The school is one of seven sites added to the Virginia Register.


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