Historic Texarkana School Reopens as Community Development Center

TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) – Alumni of Booker T. Washington High School sang the closed school’s alma mater and marked the grand opening of the new Washington Community Development Center.

The facility was built nearly 100 years ago as one of the first high schools in the area to serve African-American students from the Texarkana Arkansas School District. The last promotion dates back to 1969.

Earlier this year, the district sold the property to the “We Are Washington” nonprofit.

“So we’re trying to spend time giving people tools, not only recreational but also educational, to be better prepared for the game of life,” said the nonprofit’s Donald Reed.

Leaders say they will also provide space for other nonprofits to set up shop.

“We refuse on this side of town, when we integrated in 1969, to let that go to let this school grow on the grass,” said Booker T. Washington alum Donald Nelson.

Nelson spent 18 years at the school as a student and teacher.

“One thing about history that’s always true is that things will always change, so we’re in the middle of one of those historical changes, but it’s a good change,” he said. declared.

New owners say the name has changed, but BTW’s legacy will continue.

“So what we’re really doing is building on the great history of this school. This school has an incredible tradition,” Reed said.

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Norma P. Rex