Coalition Formed To Save Nassau School In Lewes - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Coalition Formed To Save Nassau School In Lewes

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LEWES, Del.- A group in Sussex County is working to preserve a former school built for African American children prior to desegregation. 

The Nassau School is a historic African American school. The building is located on Route 9, west of Five Points. The school is located right in the middle of DelDOT's construction for the Five Points intersection. DelDOT is teaming up with the Nassau School Coalition to make sure the school lives on despite impending road work. The school is currently owned by DelDOT. 

People from the Lewes Historical Society and the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice and others have created the Nassau School Coalition to save the school no matter what. Coalition member Charlotte King says Lewes was the center for the African American community. King says people who are living in Lewes now, would never know it was once a dominant black area. 

"It is time to do what we did with the rest of Lewes, that is in some way commemorate, preserve, and restore the history of the African American community," says King.

Nassau School is one of the 80 schools that Pierre S. Du Pont built for African American children in the 1920s. Members of the Nassau School Coalition say wherever the building lands, the Coalition will have to buy it from the state. They then will have to get funding to renovate the school into a museum. 

Former Lewes City Council member, Barbara Vaughn says she has talked to people around town and the responses to preserve the school have been positive. 

"It's needed there just hasn't been the focus on the African American community. They did a lot for Lewes. I mean the people who worked here,  and they worked hard, so it's only right," explains Vaughn.
 
The Nassau School will be one of the handful of remaining schools built by Pierre S. Du Pont. Members of the Coalition hope that the school will be renovated in the next 5 years. They are also waiting on documents to become a non-profit organization. Members say they will allow them to acquire the building and preserve it. 
 
DelDOT says it will come up with recommendations on locations to move the Nassau School. As of now, the school has been emptied out and remains on Route 9 in Lewes. 
 
 
 
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