Calfee Training School Added to Virginia Historic Landmark Register | Local news


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After laws governing the Preservation Trust Fund were amended earlier this year by the General Assembly, the foundation’s board of directors adopted the broader mission of supporting community outdoor recreation and education. .

The downtown Pulaski school and community center have each received funding that will be used to help restore what is described as “the centerpiece of a potential African American historic district.”

Founded in the late 1800s to educate black children, Calfee School will be renovated into a museum and daycare. Plans also call for offices and an event center in the 13,000 square foot building.

A lawsuit to secure educational equality for the school’s students was one of the legal victories that led to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. The school building was then used by various public and private tenants before closing in 2010.

African-American high school students in Pulaski County were forced to travel to Montgomery County daily and attend the Christiansburg Institute, as were other blacks in the New River Valley in search of public education. The order of the public school desegregation court also put an end to this system of racial discrimination.

On adjacent land, the TG Howard Community Center was established by a black minister in the early 1960s, when the local YMCA was still separate. It quickly became the focal point for African American recreation, political events, education, and vocational training before closing in 2013.


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