Years of work by City officials, historic preservationists and alumni of the former Booker T. Washington High School have resulted in two significant designations for the school, which is now a community center.
The building has been added to the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR).
On Friday, May 29, the City will celebrate both designations during a dedication ceremony, featuring the unveiling of permanent plaques at the Booker T. Washington Community Center. Speakers will include Bill Frazier of Frazier Associates, a representative from the VDHR, and Rita Wilson, a former Staunton City Councilwoman.
The historic designation process began in 2002, when a group of volunteers and City staff prepared a preliminary application to determine the eligibility of Booker T. Washington High School for the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
Years later, the director of planning and Councilwoman Wilson traveled to Richmond for a meeting with the State Review Board of the VDHR, where the preliminary application was reviewed. The board then approved the project to move forward in the designation process.
In the weeks following, a donor-advised fund was formed at the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge by friends of Councilwoman Wilson and utilized to aid in financing the professional work completed by Frazier Associates and Nancy Sorrells, a local historian.
Following Friday’s dedication, the Booker T. Washington Alumni Association will host a grand opening of the Booker T. Washington Library and Museum.