Moton expansion underway

Tar paper schoolhouse, mural, bus pull-off and parking lot planned for civil rights National Historic Landmark
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Moton Council leaders and local Civil Rights veterans gather for construction groundbreaking. Pictured (l to r): Joy Speakes, Development Committee Chair, Trustee, 1951 striker and plaintiff; Edwilda Allen, Council member and 1951 striker; Justin Reid, Associate Director; Cynthia Johnson, Resources Committee Chair; Dorothy Holcomb, Council Chair; Rev. James Holcomb; Mickie Carrington; and Rita Moseley.

Farmville, VA – The construction now underway at the Moton Museum is bringing the National Historic Landmark even closer to its history.  A 21st century model of one of the three “tar paper shacks” — the overcrowded, outdoor classrooms that led Moton students to strike and file suit for school desegregation in 1951 — is being constructed on its original site.

Though identical in size and outward appearance, the new tar paper building will not be made from the same materials as the originals.  The new building will house additional office and storage space, a good prep space, a pavilion and outdoor education area, and feature a mural by nationally renowned, Richmond, Virginia-based artist, Hamilton Glass.  Construction also includes a new parking lot and bus pull-off to improve traffic along Griffin Boulevard.  A spring 2015 completion is anticipated.

A dedication event is planned for the weekend of April 23, 2015, the anniversary of the 1951 Moton Student Strike that produced three-fourths of the plaintiffs in Brown v. Board of Education (1954).  The project, made possible through grants from the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification & Community Revitalization Commission and the Virginia Department of Transportation Enhancement Program, is being administered by the Town of Farmville and Commonwealth Regional Council.

The museum will remain open during construction.  Moton guests are asked to park across the street in the Southgate Center along Griffin Boulevard and use the museum’s South Entrance facing Burger King.

Contact Justin Reid at justin[dot]reid[at]motonmuseum[dot]org or 434-315-8775 ext 3 for more information.