Students restore windows at an old, historic school - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Students restore windows at an old, historic school

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It looks like an abandoned building, but under the boarded up windows and rusted siding there's a story to be told

"We've got some of the school history within our lodge and I'm telling you from some of the stories that have been told it's absolutely phenomenal," said George Armstrong, worship master of Masonic Lodge.

The wear and tear might give away it's age. The school was built in 1918, a time when African American education was separated in the state and throughout the U.S.

"Segregation was a deal at that point in time and the fact of the matter was that these folks created their own town and said we're gonna build our own school and that's just the way it is," said Bob Yapp, president of Preservation Resources Inc.

Jefferson Jacob Rosenwald School closed in 1957, but the building stayed open. Prospect Masonic Lodge uses it now, but the space needs a lot of work

Yapp said, "The windows are wonderful 100 year old windows, they serviced this building for 100 years and we're going to give them another 100 year life."

The building has come full circle. Once a thriving school, it now houses a new group of students.

"They don't realize it but they are actually becoming a part of history themselves," said Armstrong.

15 students are part of a pilot program, getting hands on training with this historic preservation project updating and restoring the windows.

"I actually like it, I want to make a job of doing this and get paid for the rest of my life," said student, Dakota Barker.

Student, Joseph Thomas, said, "In the future, when I get my own house I want to know how to rebuild stuff if something breaks I can replace it on my own."

Making an impact on their own lives, and the people in their community

"This is something that they can take with them for the rest of their lives and this is a real big positive thing for these kids," said Armstrong.

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