Rally To Preserve Parts Of Carver High Receives Support From City

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Staff report

The Palm Beach County School District will work to blend the past with the future when it renovates the former location of Carver High School.

Part of the 1-cent sales tax initiative, the school board has allocated $10 million to the site, currently known as the Delray Full Service Center.

Originally, plans involved demolishing nearly all of the 14 buildings that made up the former segregated school. When alumni of the school found out about the plans to raze their former school, they banded together to preserve part of their past.

They met with the school board, city officials and preservationists to garner support to save some of the buildings. Carver High School graduate Paula Newman-Rocker led the charge and has met with officials for the past two years.

Now, plans involve saving buildings 1, 2 and 12, renovating the old gymnasium and constructing a new 20,000-square foot technical education building where different types of educational programming classes will take place.

The1958 gymnasium will become an auditorium and cultural facility open to the community, school district and neighboring Village Academy.

Building 1 is a two-story classroom building and Building 12 is the former cafeteria and auditorium. The original “cafetorium” sign still hangs above the entrance.

School board member Debora Robinson said she would like to save building 2 and turn it into a health care center that serves the local neighborhood.

Preserving buildings 1,2 and 12 are not part of the $10 million budget for the project.

District officials said the buildings on the campus, located at 301 SW 14th Ave., were slated for the wrecking ball because they are in decrepit conditions. The cost to rehabilitate the buildings far exceeded the total budget of the project.

The school was moved to its current location in 1958. The buildings were constructed between 1957 and 1961. Carver shuttered in 1970 when it was integrated with Seacrest High School to form a new, integrated school, Atlantic Community High School.

The school has ties to historic African-American figures Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver.

To pay homage to the history, the project will incorporate a historical marker on the campus and display significant historical artifacts throughout the campus.