Citizens United to Preserve Greensville

County Training School              CUpts

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Special Project Committee Members

Clean Up Day ​

April 8, 2017

Marva J. Dunn, Chair (R)

Carolyn L. Davis, Secretary (not pictured)

Keith Prince, Treasurer (2nd R)

McKinley Jordan (l)

Clarence Wells (M)

This committee was organized to develop a new VISION for preserving. The Greensville County Training School located in Emporia, VA (a historical Rosenwald School). The CUTPS Board members are: 

McKinley Jordan, President 

Cleo Goodwyn, Secretary

Marion Barnes

Sylvia Oneary

Carrroll Carter

Work has Begun!


By: Virginia Foundation for the Humanities

The Greensville County Training School began before 1912 as a small wood-frame building and contributed to African-American education in Emporia for over fifty years. An addition in 1929 resulted in one of the largest Rosenwald schools in Virginia. In 1912, a widow named Lucy Magee sold two acres of land, called the "Magee tract," to Greensville County's Belfield school board for $1,000. From 1912 to 1913, a four-room brick building was constructed on this site to house a graded school. Local African Americans contributed $500 to this construction; the School Board gave $2,450, and the community borrowed $1,900 from the Literary Fund. Due to increasing enrollment, four additional classrooms were added to the west side of this building in 1916. However, as the area around the school continued to develop, the educational facility became inadequate to serve the changing community. Principal Reverend J.H. Waller and a teacher, Blanch Harrison, organized the County School League, an association of friends and patrons of the school, to provide funding for additional facilities. In 1929, a new school designed to accommodate six teachers was constructed on three acres adjacent to the graded school site. This building received $1,700 in support from the Rosenwald School Fund, an organization that, led by northern philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, helped build African-American schools across the south during the early twentieth century. The Rosenwald Fund referred to this school as the "South Emporia Training School."

By 1933, the Greensville County School's four-year curriculum was accredited and an additional

building constructed for manual training. Between 1934 and 1935, a three-room wing with more classrooms was added. The original graded school remained in use for a time, in conjunction with the new school, but was demolished during the 1930s. In the 1940s, a further addition was built on the west side, connected to the earlier building by a covered walkway. The Greensville County Training School​​ 

offered home economics, vocational agriculture, carpentry, and masonry, as well as a general education and masonry, as well as a general education curriculum including English and History. In addition to its instructional role, the school functioned as the center of Emporia's African-American community and housed meetings of the local NAACP chapter, among other activities.

In 1954 a new "separate but equal" school named Wyatt High School was constructed closer to Emporia's center. African American high school students moved to this building, while the Greensville County Training School became a Learning Center for black elementary students. 

The school closed following desegregation in the 1960s, and the School Board began to use the facility for storage.

Physical Description

The Greensville County Training School is located at 105 Ruffin Street in Emporia, VA. The school remains standing today, though the building has deteriorated due to years of neglect.

Rosenwald Schools

The Rosenwald Schools of Virginia: Greensville County Greensville County contained over a dozen Rosenwald Schools; they were built between 1917 and 1929. The largest one was the Greensville County Training S​chool (also known as the South Emporia Training School).

 The school was originally designed as a six-teacher, U-shaped building based on S.L. Smith's Community Schools Plans. The auditorium had space for 250 people, the only such space available for large gatherings of African Americans in the community. According to interviews conducted by the Royal Baptist Church in 2004, there were local NAACP chapter meetings, a 4-H club, theater productions and sports activities held at the school between 1940 and the 1950s. The school closed in 1960 and is slowly deteriorating.

The other 12 schools in Greensville County were much smaller, costing between $1,900 (Orion School) to as much as 4,550 (Jarretts School). The Independence School, designed for two-teachers at a cost of $2900. The portico on this school is and the porch contains a hipped roof, supported by square posts on rusticated concrete block piers. We do not know how many of the original 12 schools are still standing;

In 2015 Citizens United to Preserve the Greensville County Training School appointed a Special Project Committee to develop a plan to prevent additional deterioration of the school. A plan was developed to remodel the remaining brick structure into an enclosed park with an outdoor stage.

We Need Your Help!

1. Volunteers




                Help cleaning up


              2. In kind Donations

    3. Fund Raising

           4. Public Relations

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           434- 348-3122