Historic school repaired in Barney - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Historic school repaired in Barney

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The newly restored, historical Barney Colored School The newly restored, historical Barney Colored School
The classroom inside the Barney Colored School The classroom inside the Barney Colored School
New windows installed in the school New windows installed in the school
The front room of the school served as the vocational room for students The front room of the school served as the vocational room for students
Gerald Golden Gerald Golden
Barney, GA -

Looking at the Barney Colored School, you wouldn't guess it was 80 years old.

That's because Gerald Golden and the Morven Rosenwald Alumni Association has spent the last eight years restoring it.

"We had fundraiser after fundraiser after fundraiser and then the community really began to support us and they would provide funds for fundraisers and anyway they could help us out on an annual basis," said Gerald Golden, Chairman of the Morven Rosenwald Alumni Association.

The Barney Colored School is one of only three Rosenwald schools that still exist in Brooks County. There were originally six, but the other three have been torn down.

Before repairs began on the school back in 2006, the building had nearly collapsed and was overrun by weeds. One of the rooms even had a tree growing out of the middle of it.

"The school, the building plans and the school itself, was a collaborative effort between Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington," Golden explained.

The schools were built throughout all of the Southern States in the late twenties and early thirties as a way to provide education for blacks in the South, particularly in rural areas.  

Today, the renovated building is carrying on that tradition of educating rural communities like Barney, but in a more modern sense.

"We will have computers in this building, for seniors and those who do not know how to access the internet to learn how to do that."

Almost everything now, including social security and many retirements, are going to be on the internet," Golden continued. "You're going to have to use that technology to access your accounts." 

The building will also hold quilting classes and tutoring for students who have fallen behind in school.

It's helping educate this rural, Brooks County community for the modern world, just like it did for blacks in the rural South so many years ago.

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