The vision of Lincoln School’s future moved one step closer to becoming a reality recently when volunteers completed work of the entrance way to the building.
When opening the front doors, future visitors will be greeted with freshly painted walls, wall lighting, and chandeliers hanging in two rooms.
A tiled floor has also been laid down, a project that took about a month due to challenges with the floor.
Some other work includes electrical work done on outside of the school along with framing and electrical work done in the kitchen.
While it has taken years with limited manpower and funds to fix up the African-American school, volunteers say the importance of the project is never forgotten.
“I think what is important is the foundation of education the school has offered,” said Charles Overton. “It’s caused a maximum number of people to have international and national notoriety…Their drive and determination came from here…(The project) is important.”
The building also serves as a living memorial to those who once attended the school.
“We have our memories but this is right here,” Overton said. “You can touch it; you can feel it.”
Overton added that the vision of the project will allow people in the community to come together to help each other.
When completed, the school will be used for a number of activities, including concerts, many of which will lean to the jazz and blues side.
“It is important to know that this facility is being built for world-class entertainment,” Overton told the Leader last year.
Overton has many connections, and he said those involved with jazz and blues particularly want to support the project.
Plans also call for a recording studio to be added to help develop young talent in the area.
Once a school for about 50-60 students, perhaps as many as 100 at any given time, the school closed in 1959. For some time Overton’s uncle operated a boxing school in it, and at one point it served the lowly task of being a storage center for a scrap dealer.
The Lincoln School is the only historical school in Audrain County listed on the National Historic Preservation Registry.