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Petitioning Mobile County Public School Board Dr. Martha Peek and 6 others

Mobile County Public School System: DO NOT demolish & help save the historic Rosa A. Lott School in Citronelle.

Rosa A. Lott was born in Citronelle, Alabama where she spent most of her life. After graduating from high school, she continued her formal education at Alabama State Teachers College. Not only was she a great African American educator, she was a renowned humanitarian as well. Because of her love for and commitment to young people, she saw the need for a high school for black students in the Citronelle area. With the support of the community, she used her own money to travel on the Gulf Transport Bus month after month to the Mobile County School Board pleading for a high school for black students in Citronelle. It was largely through her untiring efforts that the Citronelle Consolidated School was built in 1949. She served as principal until her death in 1952. The school was renamed Rosa A. Lott in 1958 in honor and memory of her.

The original Rosa A. Lott school building is important for its African American Ethnic history and its local and statewide significance as a descendant of a historical two-room Rosenwald Foundation School. Rosenwald Schools refer to a group of educational institutions established in the South for African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century. The Rosa A. Lott High School was the first African American high school in North Mobile County, Alabama and is registered on Alabama’s Register of Landmarks and Heritage historical sites.

The building is a representation of a rare type of Craftsman Style architecture born of the Arts and Crafts Architectural Movement and is documented to be one of the few schools in its original wood constructed form. After integration the school became an elementary school from 1970-2000, and presently serves as a middle school serving to educate black, white, hispanic, asian and Choctaw children. The original wooden structure now lies abandoned and is in serious disrepair.

A campaign has begun to restore this historic school building for use as an educational museum and for daily public educational purposes by providing programs that include, but are not limited to, the following: art; drama; music; dance; story telling; health; first aid; physical fitness; nutrition; gardening; basic life and technical skills. None of this will be possible without the cooperation of the Mobile County Public School Board.

DO NOT demolish the historic Rosa A. Lott School (the original wooden, blue school building) in Citronelle, Alabama and cooperate with the Rosa A. Lott Historic Preservation Society, Inc. to preserve and rehabilitate this significant building. Specifically, the Society feels that some requirements and terms outlined in the lease stipulated by the Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS) are unattainable and unacceptable. The Society requests five (5) years to make significant progress which will allow more time to secure grants, donations, and contributions to help with the restoration and preservation of the historic Rosa A. Lott wooden blue building. The Society also needs assurance that any progress made will not be in vain. The current lease agreement gives no guarantees that any work done would be honored. The MCPSS has the authority to take the property from the Society at any time leaving us with nothing. Please acknowledge our passion for this project and work with us to develop a lease that is attainable and acceptable to all involved.

In the words of Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation… “historic places have a unique ability to remind present and future generations in a tangible and meaningful way about events that shaped our collective experience. They inspire us with the stories of those who built their communities, fought for their beliefs, and overcame all manner of personal challenge.” We believe that Rosa A. Lott was a community builder and the school, named in her honor, is worth saving. This place matters!

This petition was delivered to:
  • Mobile County Public School Board
    Dr. Martha Peek
  • Mobile County Public School Board
    Dr. Reginald Crenshaw
  • Mobile County Public School Board
    Ken Megginson
  • Mobile County Public School Board
    Dr. Judy Stout
  • Mobile County Public School Board
    Dr. William Foster
  • Mobile County Public School Board
    Rev. Lavon Manzie
  • Mobile County Public School System
    Tommy Sheffield


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