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School Patrol: Restoring West Gaines School

West Gaines School
Posted at 12:24 AM, Oct 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-13 01:24:36-04

LAWRENCEBURG, Tenn. (WTVF) — Before laws were passed in America integrating public schools, there were separate schools for white students and black students. Now, the first African American school in Lawrence County is in disrepair, and some of its former students want it restored.

West Gaines School was built in the 1930s. Its two buildings are now overrun by weeds, rotting wood, and a badly damaged roof.

The school closed in 1964, and over the years, it was used as a welfare office, and more recently, the Lawrence County Board of Education. Its former students and their supporters know it's going to take a lot to renovate the structure.

Mold, asbestos, and a rotting roof will be costly to deal with. It's estimated that bringing the building back to its original state is going to take at least $500,000.

Supporters are hoping the community might see the good in the old schoolhouse, and make a donation. If you're so inclined, you can go to West Gaines School's GoFundMe page to donate.

Learn even more about the building and the efforts of supporters to restore it by watching the video player above.