Archived Story

Visitors tour former Reedtown School site

Published 8:56am Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The designation of the Reedtown-Rosenwald School site, which housed the old Reedtown High School, as a site on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage was an inspiration to many in the community, but those who worked on the project didn’t not realize until recently that their hard work was also inspirational to people in other parts of the state as well.

Rev. Charles Dale, who was instrumental in having the school designated as a historic landmark, said a group of 50 people from the Montgomery area visited the old Reedtown High School on Sept. 14 to get ideas for a similar project they are working on.

Dale said the group is planning to refurbish the old Madison Park School in Montgomery so it can also be placed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage and hoped to see exactly what the group from Russellville did to turn the old Reedtown school site into what is now known as the Back 2 Basics Life Skills Center.

“Dorothy Walker from the Historical Society put us in touch with this group because she worked closely with us on our project and thought we might have some ideas for the group from Montgomery,” Dale said.

“We were more than glad to offer our support and to host the group on Saturday.”

Dale said members who were instrumental in getting the Reedtown School project off the group were present for the gathering.

“We talked to them about how we got our project started, who all was involved and how we recruited volunteers to help with the project,” Dale said.

“I think it helped them to see how we organized our efforts and how we delegated tasks and worked together.

“I believe it also helped them to physically see the building and what all we have done with it to make it a place that is still important to the community today. One of the organizers, Robert Taylor, said he was very impressed.”

Dale said they hosted a meal for their guests and gave them a tour of the facilities, including the computer room where computer classes are held every Tuesday and Thursday evening.

“We have made the school functional again with our computer classes and by opening it up for different groups to meet here,” Dale said.

“This is similar to what the group from Montgomery would like to do with their project and it was great to share those ideas with them.

“We also shared that we had many people helping us and supporting us, like the city of Russellville, Superintendent Rex Mayfield and the Russellville City School System, Dr. Humphrey Lee and Northwest-Shoals Community College, and the Northwest Alabama RC&D.

“It was very rewarding to us to know that our hard work has not only gotten our school placed on the historic register but it is serving to help other people who are trying to do the same thing. It was just a great day for all of us.”

Dale said anyone in the community who might be interested in the computer classes that are offered at the Back 2 Basics Life Skills Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-8 p.m. could contact him at 256-436-7713.

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