Progress Continues on Calfee School Renovation

Calfee Training School may not be a familiar name to some when they first hear about it. Founded in the late 19th century, it was built as a space for educating African American children in Pulaski. It was very active back in the 1930s and 1940s, but nowadays the space has gone largely unused, being all but abandoned by the community. Recent efforts by several people throughout the town may change that in the very near future, though. These people were looking at the old school building and wondering why such a historic space with huge potential had been abandoned by their community. They were also looking at ways to bring the school back with a new, renewed purpose.

When you look at some of the numbers, it seems that Pulaski County is rather lacking in licensed childcare options. Several towns in the surrounding area have much better statistical numbers on childcare. This isn't to say that Pulaski residents don't care about the issue though. In 2017, voters supported a tax increase that would go to building a new middle school. Other areas in the state attempted this, but their efforts fell ultimately fell short. Of course, childcare is about much more than watching over children while they're at school or while their parents are working. There are multiple organizations interested in supporting the families of Pulaski, but the limited resources available restrict how well their needs can be met.

Last year, that group of people met for the first time to discuss what could be done to solve these issues. In the end, they had a fantastic idea; to turn the old training school into a community center, and a space where some of the county's childcare needs could be realized.

Fast forward to now, and progress on the renovation of the school is beginning to pick up speed. Recently, former students and employees of the school met to reminisce with memories of their time there. The meeting also included an opportunity for attendants to creatively brainstorm ideas on how the renovated space can be utilized for community needs, while still honoring the diverse legacy left behind by the institution.

Moving into the future, we are hopeful that progress towards this new focal point will continue. Pulaski will always be receptive to new ways to improve our town, and the renovation of the Calfee Training School promises to be a breath of fresh air for the community.

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