Mecklenburg County is asking the community for their ideas on how to best preserve Second Ward High School’s gym.
Second Ward High School was the heart of Brooklyn Village. This was the first public high school for African-American students in Charlotte, opened in 1923 and closed in 1969. The only surviving building of a once thriving, historically black neighborhood is the Second Ward High gym. The rest of the neighborhood was torn down in the “urban renewal” efforts of the 1960s. To remember what once was, Mecklenburg County is working to preserve this space and keep the history alive.
Neighboring Concepts has been selected as the design team to preserve and renovate Second Ward gym.
The point of the renovation is to remind everyone that Brooklyn Village is not gone, but alive and well, just in a different light. The National Alumni Foundation of Second Ward High School has worked tirelessly to get a piece of their old high school back and now with renovation plans in order, they are “beginning to remember.”
Here’s the short version of what Neighboring Concepts plans to do with the gym:
- Create an enclosed walkway so that people are able to walk between Second Ward gym and the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center year-round.
- Dedicate office space , especially for the Alumni Association to hold their meetings.
- Have a display of memorabilia to further drive the point of how the gym was prominent part of the school and neighborhood.
- Continue to collaborate with the community to decide what the space will be used for such as a community center, sports and recreation, venue for alumni reunions and so on.
Neighboring Concepts is at the very start of the design for the gym.
Neighboring Concepts had the Second Ward Alumni Foundation and other members of the community participate in an activity Wednesday where they placed a red dot on features in the gym that would be most beneficial to them. A walkway with some history of Brooklyn Village and the high school and a display case of items from their old high school by far took the lead.
At this time, Neighboring Concepts does not have any renderings of what the facility will be since they are at the very start of design, but expect a gym that shows the significance of what Second Ward High School meant to a lot of people.