Neighborhood looks to preserve Charlotte’s historic Morgan School

The Morgan School is in the Cherry neighborhood and it was built in the 1920s so black students could get an education.
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:32 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2021 at 8:22 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – On Tuesday night, Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board members voted 7-2 to release their surplus properties to a “surplus for sale” list.

On that list is the historic Morgan School. Neighbors said they fear the school board’s decision could be the end of the historic property. The Morgan School is in the Cherry neighborhood and it was built in the 1920s so Black students could get an education.

The entire neighborhood was the first community in Charlotte to provide homeownership for working-class blacks, and so that’s why this decision could mean a lot to the community.

The vice president of the Cherry Community Organization said they’ve expressed a desire to own the building for more than three decades but nothing’s happened. The school itself has been empty since 2017.

The concern is school board members will sell the building to an owner who could tamper with the school’s rich history. The Morgan School has been designated as a local historic landmark.

Carol Sawyer, the board member who represents that area, told WBTV that she supports selling the property and claims that will not prevent the Cherry Community Organization from purchasing the school.

Sawyer said language could be written that would instruct owners what they can and cannot do to the school.

At the CMS Board meeting, officials said they received multiple offers to purchase the facility so staff is recommending revising the declaration to “surplus for sale.”

“It’s the right thing to do. It’s been almost a half-century we’ve been advocating for the school to be used as a 21st-century community learning and resource center for the community, for Cherry, so yes, it’s certainly the right thing to do,” neighbor Mylon Patton said.

“I would support the decision for anyone to come in and go into the school, rehab the school, make sure there are programs in there the community can utilize and has the ability and track record to maintain the integrity of the building,” neighbor Aletha Burgess said.

People interested in the property must submit by the deadline, Dec. 13. As far as the estimated value of the property - CMS will begin the appraisal process now that the Board has decided to sell.

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