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Former School for black students begins new purpose in Marietta


Beginning this month, Marietta is holding free night classes for those wanting to obtain their high school diplomas in the former Lemon Street Grammar School. Classes will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Participants have the option for online and in-person learning. In addition, meals and transportation is being offered to the students.

Located at 350 Lemon Street in Marietta, historic Lemon Street Grammar School holds an important place in the hearts and minds of black students who grew up in the area decades ago. The historical building, along with the former high school, were the only places that educated black children during the era of Jim Crow. Last month marks its reopening to the public following a major renovation.

The original Lemon Street Grammar School was built in 1894, with a new building taking its place in 1951. It would officially close its doors two decades later following integration. Often used as an offsite storage facility for the school system, the building had been closed for nearly 50 years.

The former elementary school saw steadfast efforts by many to save it from the fate of the Lemon Street High School, demolition. Following strong activism by past students and the Marietta community, the site was eventually spared from the wrecking ball. Recognizing its historical importance to the community, the Marietta City Schools committed to restoring the site. The location underwent a massive $3.5 million dollar renovation and reopened last month.

With its historical lineage to former students and the Marietta community secured, the site will now be utilized as a learning center for educational related programs and a place for former students to revisit their past.

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