Organization seeks help in restoring Historic Claflin School

Organization seeks help in restoring Historic Claflin School
The Historic Claflin School in Columbus. (Source: WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A local organization fighting to restore Historic Claflin provided an update of their progress at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. 

The Executive Director of Friend’s of Historic Claflin says the building is now placed on the historic registry. 

Councilor Mimi Woodson pressed in on the groups progress with obtaining their non-profit 501c3 status.

“We applied in May,” says Executive Director Reverend Richard Jessie.

Jessie says that he submitted their application to  the IRS and was told that it may take up to six months to be reviewed.

In the meantime, City Manager Isaiah Hugely says that Friends of Historic Claflin need to provide the city with insurance before the city will sign the lease agreement for the property.

 “We received one insurance quote and we are waiting on two more,” said Jessie.

During the progress report to the city council, the City Manager pointed out that there has already been a six month extension given to Friends of Claflin, but Jessie says the group is still on track to achieving their 2018 completion date.

The Consultant with Friends for Historic Claflin, Natasha Walker, says they are looking for the community to get more involved.

"The Claflin center is a center for everybody in the community and we want to shift the dialogue away from just folks who attended Claflin to a City project to preserve the first historic black school of Columbus," said Walker

In light of this effort, the group will be holding a “roll call” on September 25 at Claflin. Alumnus, community leaders and citizens are encouraged to come together to show their support for restoring historic Claflin.

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