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Grant will help restore R.A. Clement School

The president of the West Rowan Neighborhood Center Advisory Council Inc. (WRNCAC) Leonard Hall announced grants totaling $30,125 for the restoration of the R.A. Clement Rosenwald School. “We thank the following grantors: The Blanche & Julian Robertson Family Foundation, The Rosenwald Centennial Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Wells Fargo Bank and the Town of Cleveland our long term partner.” There are other grants still pending.
In 1969 the WRNCAC, composed of alumni and community leaders of Cleveland, bought the R.A. Clement School, a four-teacher building Rosenwald School constructed in 1929. The Rosenwald Fund provided financial assistance toward the construction of the 5,378 schools and auxiliary buildings in 15 Southern states from 1913 to 1932. “We must keep in our thoughts Rufus and Emma Clement our benefactors for helping make this happen,” Hall said.
The R.A. Clement School is one of the two remaining Rosenwald Schools in Rowan County, out of the 813 constructed in N.C. The WRNCAC bought the school in 1969 to establish a community center to provide space for a senior citizens’ meal site and a Head Start program. These programs relocated, and in 2003, WRNCAC took the challenge of a seriously deteriorated school building: open roof, windows broken or missing, masonry damage, water damage and interior inappropriate repairs.
Funds will be used for the restoration of the assembly room, masonry and floor repairs, window restorations, preservation plan and National Register nomination. Dr. Catrelia Steele Hunter, a member of the board of directors of WRNCAC says, “We want to maintain our historic school as a special place that provides service to the community, preserves our legacy and teaches our future generation about the past.”
Dr. John Steele, mayor of the town of Cleveland, noted that, “Historic preservation is important to the economic vitality of Cleveland and the R.A. Clement School restoration project has been our leader in preserving our historic resources.”
“Without organizations like the West Rowan Neighborhood Center Advisory Council, communities and towns all across America would have a diminished sense of place,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “The National Trust for Historic Preservation is honored to provide a grant to WRNCAC, which will use the funds to help preserve an important piece of our shared heritage.”
This grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to the WRNCAC is from the Centennial fund, established for Rosenwald Schools and must be matched, at least dollar for dollar, with public or private funds. For more information on National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Fund grants, visit: www.PreservationNation.org/resources/find-funding/grants/.
For further information contact Leonard Hall at 704-278-9116, Catrelia Hunter at 704-278-9149 or Angelo Franceschina at 336-655-8321.

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