COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – This year marks 105 years since the historic Claflin School opened.
After many years of organizing and fundraising to restore the building, it has finally paid off.
The original goal was to raise $10 million to restore the building into 44 units of affordable housing with family educational resources.
For the next year, the Reverend Richard Jessie, who has been the leader in efforts of the project, said they are doing more than just restoring the historical site with great heritage.
His vision for the educational factor is to help the less advantaged work their way out of poverty and crime.
He said they are partnering with local hospitals and schools where there will be free health screenings for families, reading programs for children and more.
It will also be an alcohol and drug-free complex with programs in place to help those who may be suffering from addictions.
"A lot of times people just need a helping hand, they need mentoring, and we will be working with families, we will be working with veterans, and ex-offenders to improve their state in life," said Rev. Jessie.
The school was Built in 1868, Claflin was the first school for black children in Columbus.