Citizens United to Preserve Greensville County Training School (CUPTS) appeared in the Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, edition of the Independent Messenger pictured with Del. Roslyn Tyler, 75th, awarding CUPTS a check for $70,000. McKinley Jordan, president of CUPTS, made numerous attempts to seek information on when the organization would receive the funds.
To date, CUPTS has not received these funds.
Just as CUPTS was about to give up, State Historic Preservation Officer Julie V. Langan contacted Marva Dunn, secretary for CUPTS, on Dec. 17, 2020. Langan informed Dunn that she would work with CUPTS to help the organization try to get the funds but could not promise anything. Since that time, Dunn and Jordan have been continuously working directly with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR) to secure the funds. VDHR informed the CUPTS they needed the City of Emporia to be the fiscal agent for the grant.
On March 16, the Emporia City Council unanimously voted to be the fiscal agent for the $70,000 grant.
Despite the limited funding, CUPTS remains steadfast and determined in making Citizens United to Preserve Greensville County Training School’s new vision a reality. One main focus is fundraising. The board set in motion a get ‘Fifty People to donate $20 campaign’ to conclude at the end of March 2020. The goal was for each board member to raise no less than $1,000 to be reported at its annual Gospel Concert scheduled for April 4, 2020. COVID 19 prohibited completing that project, and they had to cancel the concert. However, members of the board did collect over $3,000 in donations during 2020. Now that ‘Stay At Home’ guidelines are less restrictive, they plan to be out there again asking for $20 donations.
COVID 19 may have slowed the organization’s process; however, in 2020, Frank Batts, Batts, Masonry, Sandy Hill, building contractor, and Robert Smith, Smith’s Right Choice Property Maintenance, initiated several projects. Hill began replacing the roof on the No. 2 building. Hill completed the roof and installations of windows on building No. 2 last month after the governor lifted some COVID-19 restrictions. Batts completed additional masonry work, and Smith removed debris.
Jordan will be meeting with Hill, Batts, and Gunn to review the design for the area that will be a park with an outdoor stage. The work on the park should begin within the following weeks. Representatives from the CUPTS board will soon be meeting with Gunn to create the inside design for both buildings.
One significant accomplishment for CUPTS in 2020 is when Community and Economic Development Manager for the City of Emporia Beverly Hawthorne reached out to the group offering to help them become eligible for placement on the newly expanded Civil Rights in Education Trail. Hawthorne got busy, and as a result, on a rainy, chilly day in September 2020, the marker was installed.
Greensville County Training School is now a part of the Civil Rights in Education Trail. The organization is very grateful for Hawthornes’s assistance in making the marker a reality and the city of Emporia agreeing to be the fiscal agent for the grant.
The group is one step closer to receiving the grant funds.