Construction begins on Langston renovation

Zach Vance • Oct 4, 2018 at 5:41 PM

Construction has officially started on the $2.3 million renovation of Johnson City’s oldest African-American school, Langston High School. 

In August, crews began demolition work on the first floor, according to a Thursday press release from the Langston Education & Arts Development organization, a group of Langston alumni and community members who spearheaded the restoration project. 

Since the school most recently was used as a maintenance facility by Johnson City Schools, the release said the project will require extensive rehab, including the installation of new water and electric lines. 

Once completed, the gymnasium and former shop area will be transformed into a multicultural, multigenerational education center focused on STEM education and mentorship programs. The city also plans to move the programming and materials at the Princeton Arts Center into the building once its completed. 

The space will also be used for special events, such as performances and professional networking socials. 

“For months, we’ve been raising money for renovations to the Langston High School building. We’ve been talking about what the space will be used for and how it will benefit future generations,” Mike Young, LEAD board chairman, said.

“It’s exciting to see work underway on the project. We’re excited by the possibilities this project offers and how it will shape our community for years to come.”

The city of Johnson City allocated $1.8 million toward the project, while LEAD is working to raise the remaining $500,000 needed to completely fund the renovation. 

Of that $500,000, more than $325,000 has already been secured in grants, individual contributions and corporate donations from Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union and General Shale, the release said. The grassroots group hopes to raise the remaining $175,000 by the end of 2018. 

For more information about the project or to make a donation, visit http://leadlhs.org/.



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