Plans ahead to refurbish a Fulton middle school

2 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago Monday, January 28 2019 Jan 28, 2019 Monday, January 28, 2019 7:51:00 PM CST January 28, 2019 in News
By: Caitlin McCarthy, KOMU 8 Reporter
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FULTON - A new affordable-assisted living facility will be home in the former George Washington Carver Middle School.

MACO Management has officially obtained the property and the rebuilding will be subsidized by federal and state tax credits. 

The management company refurbished another old school building into a senior living facility in Sedalia. 

Carver Middle School was founded in 1937 and closed in the late 1980s.

In 1937, scientist George Washington Carver even visited Fulton to dedicate the school. 

The George Washington Carver Cultural Board has been working on deciding what would eventually go into the building. 

Carmen Brandt was a student at Carver and attended while it was still segregated.

Despite the sadness she and her former classmates experienced deciding what other than a school would fit there, they decided affordable senior living was what is best for the community.

"We all frowned," Brandt said. " Because emotionally we were still really attached to that building as a school for us and all the good memories that we had. Then we really thought about it and we prayed about it because it was one of those situations where what's best for the community?" 

Brandt's sister-in-law and another former student of Carver, Carolyn Gaines, said she is excited for the boarded up building to finally be repurposed. 

Gaines said when she took her students for a walk one summer she was disheartened by the disgust from her students towards the school.

"On our field trip, the kids were like 'Oh look at the broken glass' and that was before we boarded the windows up." Gaines said. "And so the windows were broken and they were like 'ew that's nasty' this and that and so, I was trying to explain to them how it was for me. I said it wasn't always like this. I wanted to paint a picture in their mind of how it used to be." 

Gaines said she looks forward to the future of the building because of the good memories she and her classmates made there. 

"It was just so many fond memories in its time," Gaines said. "But it's no longer a school, so that's what we want everyone to see it as. It has spent it's time as a school."

Tony Galbreath was a student at Carver and can still see the school from his driveway. 

He said he looked back fondly at his years at Carver. This school was where he had started playing basketball and football in and around the building.

"As a kid, we didnt have video games and stuff like that." Galbreath said. "We were all in the streets playing ball. That's all we did." 

Galbreath eventually went on to play football at the University of Missouri and then 12 years in the NFL.

Galbreath said one of the most vivid memories he has of his time in middle school was when President Kennedy was shot. 

"That was probably one of the scariest times of my life," Galbreath said. "I had never heard about someone getting shot. Then that was the president of the United States."

Galbreath said he looks forward to seeing the building have a new life. 

The George Washington Carver Cultural Board said they do not have a set date for construction.

KOMU 8 reached out to MACO Management, but they have not heard back yet. 

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