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Building On The Past

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Calvin Goode, pictured above, and other alumni of the George Washington Carver School are on a mission: to save their alma mater, once the only high school for black students in Arizona, from the wrecking ball. The Phoenix school district recently announced plans to sell the building and its grounds for $200,000. Some of the prospective buyers said they would probably tear down the school, which has been closed since the early 1950s. But the alumni group hopes to come up with enough cash to save the school, which is listed in the state and national registers of historic places. In recent years, the two-story building had been used as a museum, warehouse, and office space. Led by Goode and classmate Coy Payne, the alumni by summer's end had raised $60,000 through individual donations and a grant from the city. They hope to turn their old school into an educational and cultural center. Although Carver has been closed for more than 40 years, Payne says it remains a source of pride for those who went there. The building, he says, looks as good today as it did in its heyday. "It's just like when I was stepping onto campus as a freshman back in 1945.''

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