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Old Chilton Co. Training Site Gains Historic Designation

By Associated Press

Clanton AL – The site of the old Chilton County Training School, the only place where black high school students in the area could earn their diploma during the era of segregation, has been added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

"That building carries a lot of significance and sentimental value for those of us who had no other option but to travel to the Chilton County Training School to get a high school diploma," said Eddie Reed, a 1963 graduate who was elected Jemison's first black mayor in 2004.

Many graduates became doctors, lawyers and educators, but much of the building has deteriorated and is covered with racial slurs and other graffiti, The Clanton Advertiser reported Monday. A group of alumni formed the CCTS Alumni Preservation Association in 2004 to reclaim and restore the property.

The local Fraternal Order of Police and the Chilton County Firefighters Association own the property. The organizations have looked at building a public safety training facility on the site, but funding obstacles have kept the project from moving forward.

Efforts are under way to get a sign or plaque placed on the property identifying it as a historical site.

County Commissioner Bobby Agee, a member of the CCTS class of 1968 and chairman of the preservation association, said the recent historical designation was "a step in the right direction."

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Information from: The Clanton Advertiser, http://www.clantonadvertiser.com

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