After standing vacant in recent years, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the renovation and expansion of the Douglas School on North Kent Street. City Council and the WPS School Board signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) in August, enabling the project to proceed.
Playing an important role in Winchester’s history, educating the community’s black students from 1927 to 1966, the Douglas School has served as an intermediate school, an elementary school, and a community center. It is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
Plans are for part of the building to serve as offices for central administrative staff and part devoted to a museum about the history of Douglas School. Students will take annual field trips once the project has been completed, and the school’s history will be integrated into the division’s curriculum.
Judy Humbert, a former school board member and Douglas School alumna and historian, said, “Today, it is with pride that Douglas alumni are taking part in this ceremony knowing that our dear old Douglas will come to life again. Dear old Douglas, may you continue to stand tall and proud and serve Winchester forever.”