Training School placed on 2017 Places in Peril list

Published 1:53 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2017

By EMILY REED / Special to the Advertiser

A Chilton County landmark is receiving some much-needed attention after recently being placed on the 2017 Places in Peril list.

The Chilton County Training School, the place where many black students attended school and earned their high school diplomas before schools in the county were integrated in the late 1960s, has been identified by the Alabama Trust Places in Peril Committee as being a candidate for the Places in Peril list.

According to the organization’s website, the Places in Peril program calls public attention to a select number of Alabama’s threatened historic and archaeological sites.

By highlighting their plight through statewide publicity, Places in Peril seeks to generate support for their preservation.

After meeting with the Chilton County Training School Alumni Preservation Association to see how the CCTS might be preserved, Billy Singleton, a Chilton County resident, and member of the Chilton County Airport Authority, began researching ways for the site to garner attention.

“When we met as a whole, we began discussing ways that the facility might be preserved,” Singleton said. “The site as it is now is beyond being salvaged, but there are parts of the location that could be salvaged. That opened some discussions with the Alabama Historical Commission, which led to one of the first steps in the process being to see if it could be placed on the Places in Peril list.”

Singleton nominated the CCTS for Places in Peril consideration, and the program selected the site in April as one of the sites across Alabama placed on the list for 2017.

A formal list of Places in Peril locations throughout the state will be released later this year.

“We believe it is very important to preserve this location as a means for future generations,” Singleton said. “When the building was closed, it has become really run down. It has been vandalized, there is graffiti covering a lot of the area, so to be able to start the process of preserving this location is really exciting.”

The CCTS is located on County Road 425 in Chilton County.

The location sits on nearly 10 acres of land, and first opened in 1924 serving as the only facility in the county that provided a secondary education for black students until the mid-1960s.

Black landowners donated five acres for the school to the board of education, who later purchased an additional five acres.

A fire in 1949 destroyed the original building.

The facility was rebuilt in 1951 and upgraded in the 1960s.

Students were bused to CCTS from elementary schools in Clanton, Maplesville, Jemison, Thorsby, Billingsley, Verbena, New Convert, Marbury and Ridersville.

CCTS closed in 1969 when new integration laws mandated that formerly all-white schools admit black students.

The school was listed in the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in 2007.

Some of the alumni that went on to become elected officials include Jemison Mayor Eddie Reed, Jemison City Council member Sam Reed, and former Chilton County Commissioner Bobby Agee.

For more information about the Places in Peril program, visit