On Wednesday, the City of Millbrook and Central Alabama Regional Planning & Development Commission (CARPDC) hosted a ground breaking ceremony for improvements to Sandtown School Community Center. The City of Millbrook is the recipient of an Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for Community Enhancement. CARPDC is administering the grant project on behalf of the City of Millbrook. The grant project focuses on rehabilitating the Old Sandtown School by improving the infrastructure of the Assembly Building and the North Wing.
The $250,000 grant award required a 10% match which was provided by the City of Millbrook and included a $10,000 contribution from the Elmore County Commission. Garner Electric also provided an in-kind-services contribution, and the Millbrook Communities Improvement Association (CIA) has also contributed to the project. The Elmore County Board of Education owned Sandtown School at the time of the application and was also vital to the application process.
Among the speakers to address the attendees was Commissioner Earl Reeves who represents the Sandtown area. Reeves recalled, “I went to school here a long time ago. The way this got started was a long time ago when Ms. Long dedicated this land. Fast forward a bit – after the school closed down, all the citizens that went to school around here wanted to keep this school here – to make it for community education. I’m proud to see we’re all here working together.”
Sandtown School was constructed in 1947 and served as the only African American high school in west Elmore County prior to integration. The school remains one of few historic black schools in the country that is still standing and is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Commissioner Earl Reeves addresses attendees at the ground breaking event.
Richard Dennis (Elmore County Board of Education Superintendent), Fred Chambliss (Amity Construction Company, Inc. – General Contractor), Hal Hodge (Millbrook City Council), Reverend James Jackson (President of Board of the Communities Improvement Association), Olivia Venable (Millbrook City Council), Kenneth Boswell (Director of ADECA), Millbrook Mayor Al Kelly, and Commissioner Earl Reeves, Commissioner Mack Daugherty, Commissioner Bart Mercer, and Michael Gay (Millbrook City Council President) break ground during the ceremony for Sandtown School Community Center.