With one more month left before he finishes his 26-year career as commissioner of Carroll County's District 1, Trent North said he is looking forward to the next phase of what was once George Washington Carver High School.
North, a Carrollton resident, recently resigned from the Carroll County Board of Commissioners after being named superintendent of Douglas County Schools last summer.
Carver High served as the only African-American high school in Carroll County from 1954 to 1969. Following the landmark Brown vs. the Board of Education in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregation of schools was unconstitutional, Carver students were integrated into the city and county schools.
On Wednesday, North said he hopes the community of west Carrollton will see the opportunities that exist now that the former school building will be managed by the Community Action For Improvement. The building has been empty for a few months now that the Boys and Girls Club no longer operates from there.
There will be a board that North has agreed to serve on, along with Dr. Charlie Rouse, Carrollton City Councilman Gerald Byrd, Pastor Fred Ricks and Overseer Walter Kight.
"The building was formerly managed by the Carrollton City School System and they didn't really have a use for it," said North. "So now that the group has it, they can provide training or it can be used for meeting spaces for the west Carrollton community. The location makes it ideal because it is in good walking distance for those who are in need of that service or space."
North said the vacancy of the former school presents the chance for the community and Carver alumni to have dedicated spaces for memorabilia. He said a group will be working to manage and oversee that particular project.
North said the West Carrollton community has wanted the property for about 15 years.
The project is one that means a lot to North, who has served for decades as an elected official and as an educator in Carrollton City Schools.
"It's the old Carver High School building," he said. "That's enough reason to want to work on it. It is my hope that the community would take pride and ownership in it, restore it and allow it to remind them of how important education was for them back in the segregated days and hopefully re-emphasize and reinforce education. The Community Action for Improvement has access now and so the first of the new year, I think that they will become more engaged with it and begin making plans. Some community leaders have already agreed to serve on the board and oversee it, so we are looking forward to all of that."