WAKE FOREST, N.C. — A combination of weather and old age nearly destroyed the DuBois Center. The roof collapse comes just as officials are trying to save the historic building in Wake Forest.
The DuBois Center was built as a school for black children and generations of African-Americans earned their education there. The school opened in 1926 and closed in 1989. Now, officials are hoping to turn the school into something that can be a learning tool for the next generation.
"I want today's children to understand how difficult it was for their foreparents," DuBois Center director Bettie Murchison said. "In order to achieve an education, the struggle here in this time was different. It was quite different."
"Saving it is part of the hopes and dreams for this generation because they can see what's possible," she said. "We're absolutely determined, and we're very confident that we're going to be able to save this building."
Eight buildings make up the DuBois Center, and two have been rehabilitated. The damaged building is part of the next step.
The center has applied for a $2 million city-county grant. That money would turn the building into a national museum.