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Delray’s Preservation Trust Taking Steps to Save Carver School

September 11, 2018 is when the County School Board will meet to decide which schools in Delray Beach are to be rehabbed, rebuilt or demolished.

It is the mission of The Preservation Trust and The Carver High School Historical Preservation Society, a newly formed community organization, to preserve and revitalize Carver High School’s legacy, (also known as Delray Full Service Center”) as a place for personal and academic excellence. The CHS Historical Preservation Society is asking for your support!

We feel the preservation of two (original buildings) of the fourteen remaining buildings on the historic Carver High School campus is worth fighting for. George Washington Carver High School (later changed to Carver High School) was the first African American High School in Palm Beach County and the last segregated school in Delray Beach. Learn more about its rich history here. 

The organization’s goal is to preserve and adapt for 21st century use the original historic structures known as building 1 (2-story Admin Bldg), building 12 (cafetorium) and the gymnasium, to become technical, cultural and vocational skills centers. Preservation of these buildings will serve the betterment of the people of the communities historically served by Carver High School, enrich educational offerings of Village Academy and enhance the educational offerings to the broader community of learners served by the Palm Beach County School District.

We feel that this preservation and historic designation will also help to bridge the generational gap, strengthen collaborative relationships with the residents of “The Set” neighborhoods of Delray Beach, the City of Delray Beach and the School District of Palm Beach County.

We should also consider the following significant features of Carver High School:

Association: Carver High School’s has a historic and meaningful association with George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, Professor Solomon D. Spady, Anthony Holiday and Spencer Pompey. in addition, Carver experienced outstanding achievements dating back to 1894.

Architectural:  Gustav Maass designed the Mid-Century Moderne Carver High School. Gustav was one of the most prominent architects of his day. He is a well-known mid-century architect who also designed the Seaboard Air Line Train Station just west of interstate 95 in Delray. This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. His Art Deco style is reflected in commercial buildings along Atlantic Avenue, including the Boyd Building at Atlantic Avenue and the Intracoastal Waterway, which remains today and houses Deck 84 Restaurant.

Cultural: Carver High was the hub for activities and one of the few public gathering places for the African American community. Generations of residents attended graduations, town hall meetings and many other events at Carver. Carver served African American students from Deerfield Beach to Lake Worth and west to the farm lands. It not only educated students, it nurtured them during the days of segregation.

Age:  The original buildings are more than 50 years old which is the benchmark for being considered for historic designation.

If you are supporting the preservation of these historic  buildings on the Carver High School Campus you must make your voices heard.  Put your pen where your mouth is, so to speak. The School Board needs to know that you care and support the preservation of these buildings and our legacy.

If you would like to participate in our efforts, pleas take a moment to send an email to our Superintendent, District 7 Representative (Carver High School is in District 7)  and copy each of the Board members and me ( Their names and email addresses are provided below:

Dr. Donald E. Fennoy, SuperinSuperintendent

Dr. Debra Robinson, Vice  Chairwomen  District 7

Barbara McQuinn, District 1

Chuck Shaw, Chairman – District 2

Karen Brill, District 3

Erica Whitfield, District 4

Frank A. Barbieri, Jr., Esq District 5

Marcia Andrews District 6

We have been successful in having buildings 1,12 & the gymnasium listed as “Historic Structures” in Tallahassee. Now we must forge ahead to have the buildings added to the Delray Beach Registry of Historic Places and the National Registry of Historic Places. We must first persuade the School Board to agree to save the buildings from demolition. Let the School Board know that the community values the preservation of our legacy.

I and the local community members that attended the November, 2017 meeting voted on which option we would like to see at Carver High. We voted for option 3 , which was 1 of the 4 choices given by the School Board as an option. This option saved the historic buildings 1 & 12 and also incorporated a football field for Village Academy. Please let them know that you too want to choose option 3. As a result of our synergistic efforts, insist that they keep their commitment and support the communities decision.