Minutes – February 2011

Rosenwald Project Planning Committee Meeting
February 11, 2011
Peterson Conference Room, Mars Hill College

The Rosenwald Project Planning Committee held its meeting of February 11, 2011 in the Peterson Conference Room in Blackwell Hall at Mars Hill College.

Attending were:  Russell Blevins, Scott Donald, Edwin and Pauline Cheek, Will Hoffman, Steve Garrison, Simon Bouyer, Charity Ray, Doneisha Gartica, Ciara Felder, Richard Dillingham, Beth and Lenny Ross  and Teresa Buckner

Guest Facilitator Ciara Felder opened the meeting at approximately 10:15 am.

Russell Blevins reported on the progress of the 1772 Foundation Grant, which is in the pre-application phase.  The grant proposal will request $50,000 to continue work on the school.  Right now, the application only needs to present the general concept of the Anderson School Renovation.  Later, when he submits the full application, he will need to give more detail.  He told the group he needs to get letters of support from the Madison County Board of Education for  the grant application.

There are other possibilities for funding from state and historical groups that Blevins said he will explore in the future.

Scott Donald recommended that the Committee not try to get the Anderson Rosenwald School on the NC Historic Registry yet, because it will create a lot of “bureaucracy and red tape” for the group as it tries to work through the process of renovation.  The school has, however, been placed on the North Carolina Study List for the Registry.

Donald said the planning committee clearly desires a high degree of historical integrity in renovating the building.  But the registry will place demands on the process that may result in higher prices and more “hoops to jump through” in completing the renovation.  Waiting until the renovation is complete will likely not prevent inclusion in the Registry at that time, he said.

According to Richard Dillingham, placement on the Historic Registry after the renovation is complete will create opportunities and tax breaks for the cultural center.

Steve Garrison made a motion that the committee postpone application to be included on the N.C. Historic Registry until after the renovation is complete.   This will maintain the group’s autonomy and likely reduce costs.  Richard Dillingham seconded; motion carried.

Teresa Buckner introduced Simone Bouyer as the web designer who will create a website for the Anderson Rosenwald Renovation Project.  Bouyer discussed a general vision for the website and asked for input from committee members.  There was a general discussion about elements of the website, which will likely include photos, videos, links to the various involved community groups and historic information about the larger Rosenwald Initiative.   In addition to development of the website, Bouyer’s fee will include teaching a member of the committee to update the site.  Or, if we prefer, she would be willing to make updates on a routine basis for a rate of $28 per hour.  (Bouyer said this would be a nominal ongoing expense, as she can do a lot of work in an hour’s time.)
Bouyer said that it would help her if she could use volunteers, or Rosenwald Scholars to enter some of the text for the website.

Teresa Buckner will find out if there is a logo that is being used by the National Conservation Trust to represent the renovation of Rosenwald schools, and if so, if there are any restrictions on incorporating it into a logo specifically designed for the Mars Hill effort.  She also said she would send a links to all committee members for: the video created by the students from Elon (and incorporating interviews with the Mars Hill Rosenwald alumni); the Mars Hill College Flickr account that includes photos of the Rosenwald School at various stages of progress; and a video created by Marc Mullinax, showing MHC students working at the school on MLK Day of Service.

Richard Dillingham gave a history report incorporating information about the history of the Anderson Rosenwald School specifically as well as education for black students in Madison County that he had discovered since the last meeting.  Because of a funding allocation by the Madison County Board of Education in 1904, Dillingham believes it is possible that the original Long Ridge Elementary School building (prior to the Rosenwald School) was constructed that year. Other information Dillingham reported included salaries for teachers, length of term, and locations for several so-called “colored schools” in Madison County which were eventually consolidated into the Anderson School.

Scott Donald reported on the construction that had been done on the school to date.  Since the roof has been repaired, the school “will make it through the winter now,” Donald said.  Donald will send out  for bids on the “Ford Room,” behind the school in the near future.  He plans to send those bids out through the Madison County School Board Office.  Following the Ford Room, the next step will be replacing the large windows on the side of the structure, which  he expects will be “very expensive.”

He said the renovation project has only spent $9,400 thus far of the $148,300 which the project will be estimated to cost.

The minutes were approved as written.

The next meeting of the Rosenwald Project Planning Committee Meeting is planned for Friday, March 11 at 10 am in the classroom across from Lifeworks (first floor) in Marshbanks Hall, Mars Hill College.

Respectfully submitted,
Teresa Buckner