HOUSTON, Tx. -- The final decision has been made. The Houston School Board voted unanimously to demolish this historic Fifth Ward building, formerly known as Phillis Wheatley High School.
In it`s place the district will contribute up to $1 million to build the new Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men.
Leland was a Wheatley graduate, a Congressman and an advocate on hunger and public health issues.
Still, some members of the Fifth Ward community are none too happy with the decision.
Tim Smith lives in the neighborhood and says, “I think it`s a shame that they would tear down a landmark…We need to hold on to all of the landmarks that`s in the inner city and E. O. Smith, previously, initially Phillis Wheatley High School should be a school always kept in this neighborhood.”
While losing a treasured piece of history is hard, folks down the street at Beyond Taste Ssoulfood were trying to see the bright side.
Cynthia Jones commented that, “Some people are upset about the history, but to me it`s positive because it`s being rebuilt for the men…I think it`s well needed, to be a school, to teach our young men how to be young men again, because some of them have got lost along the way.”
Shelyse Brooks says. "The training and the education and the guidance would get our boys back on track to be productive men.”
While the fight to save the historic building was hard fought, hopefully the community can fight just as hard for the future of their young men.