Minutes – November 9, 2012

Rosenwald Project Planning Committee Meeting
November 9, 2012
Mt. Olive Baptist Church

The Rosenwald Project Planning Committee held its meeting of November 9, 2012 in the basement fellowship hall of Mt. Olive Baptist Church.

Attending were: Joe Davis, Justin Metcalf, Scott Donald, David and Willa Wyatt, Ed and Pauline Cheek, Ben Morrell, Karen Kiehna, Charity Ray, Sandra Tolley, and Ray and Dorothy Rapp.

Willa Wyatt, committee chair, opened the meeting at approximately 10 am.

Willa said the Town of Mars Hill will install hydrants at the lower end of the Mt. Olive cemetery and beside the Anderson-Rosenwald school.

The presence of these hydrants will make the community safer and it will reduce the cost of fire insurance for the Rosenwald Cultural Center, and neighbors in the community.

Both Willa and Karen Kiehna said that the State Historic Preservation Office (Shippo) wants the group to proceed with getting the school on the National Historic Registry.

Willa also reviewed the previous meeting with Judy Futch and Paul Smith, who have volunteered to lead the group through the Strategic Planning process.

David Wyatt reported that the first Strategic Planning Session will take place on the evening of December 3.

Willa reported that some oral history interviews have been done by Caroline Twiggs and her students, including an oral history with Charity Ray, who was present at the meeting.

Sandra Tolley said the School Board would like to be involved in the ongoing renovation process. Willa responded that eventually, the group will need a plan for programming related to eventual offerings of the cultural center. School board members and/or teachers would be likely candidates for creating this programming.

There was a request that Teresa Buckner ask Simone Bouyer to put all the minutes for the meetings on the website. Teresa said she would do this.

Scott said he has been working closely with Ben and Karen to make sure that the plans for the school match up with what they need for the grant application. Assuming the project is funded, Scott will then do more construction drawings and send the project out for bid.

The group decided to ask Scott to get five laminated copies of the floor plan for the new cultural center. These will be posted at Town Hall, the School Board Office, Mt. Olive Baptist Church and outside the school itself. That will leave one extra that may be posted at the Courthouse.

Willa said the group needs to look back through the minutes and make sure we have the final version of the group’s mission statement.

She passed out a version which she believes is the final, that reads:

The Long Ridge Community’s Anderson Rosenwald School will serve as a Community Cultural Center intended to promote a fuller understanding of Southern Appalachian black history of the Blue Ridge Region and to enhance education at all levels.

Teresa said she will check the minutes to see if this is the final version.

The group may need to shorten that mission statement for our future grant proposals, Willa said. Those proposals would fund the landscaping and interior of the renovated school.

The next meeting of the Anderson Rosenwald Planning Committee was planned for December 14 at 10 am at Mt. Olive Church.