Community Members Call for Protection of Historical Landmark - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Community Members Call for Protection of Historical Landmark

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GEORGETOWN, De. - It's a situation of the past versus the present.

The Richard Allen School building in Georgetown has been around since the 1920's, when it was built to service the African American youth of the area. It was paid for through the philanthropic work of Pierre Dupont, and for many it is a living, breathing example of history in action. But now, the historical landmark could see some changes.

The building is now under the ownership of The Boys and Girls Club, which initially planned to construct a community center inside the building. However the club has been met by fierce opposition from the "Richard Allen Coalition," which is calling for the protection of the historical landmark. Now leadership at the Boys and Girls Club said that "all options are on the table," and that they are trying to work and collaborate with the coalition to find a "win-win" situation.

Eulice Richardson of Georgetown enrolled for classes at Richard Allen in 1927.

"There would be nothing," she said in the parking lot in front of the school. "No memories of anything here except what we told them. Or what was written in a book somewhere."

Richardon said that the school was a refuge for African American youth, who had nowhere else to go to receive a quality education in Delaware. Harry Crapper also attended the school in the 1950's when the schools remained segregated.

"It's just chilling to talk about," he said. "And it's heartbreaking to think that we have a chance to lose this school."

WBOC spoke with Executive Vice President of The Boys and Girls Club Anthony Boswell who said that the group wanted to work with the coalition to find an answer both parties would be happy with. 

"Our plan is to take a look at all the options," he said. "And try to make a decision best not only for our kids. But the community as a whole."

He said he didn't want to appear at ends with the coalition.

"I applaud that organization for wanting to pay homage to a man like Richard Allen," he said.

However he made one thing clear. 

"We do not plan to give the Richard Allen Coalition the building," he said. "But there are other options."

On February 13, The Richard Allen Coalition is encouraging people to attend a presentation on the school's history. It will be at the Hotel Rodney in Lewes at 12:00.

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