The Atlanta school district is planning to renovate the school building where Martin Luther King Jr. attended grade school.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the district is scheduled to award a construction contract to renovate the former David T. Howard School and convert it to a middle school.
The building opened in 1924 and served as a grammar school for African-American students. King attended the school from 1936 to 1940. It later became a high school and closed in 1976.
"The resurrection of the Howard Building and campus will pay homage to Dr. King’s legacy," says Atlanta School Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, "and to that of the many trailblazers and trendsetters who attended Howard after it became Atlanta’s second high school for African American students in 1948."
Carstarphen says in a blog post on the district's website that since Howard closed, it has been used as a satellite office space and even as a storage facility.
Now, a $52 million renovation will enable the Howard campus to become the new home for the overcrowded Inman Middle School.
"Our solution blends the best of both worlds," Carstarphen says. "We are renovating the Howard Building and campus and converting it into a new home for Inman Middle School in the Grady High School Cluster. In addition, we are doing so while respecting the tradition and legacy of the Howard campus, as well as the natural aesthetic beauty of the neighborhood."
Carstarphen says that the renovation will preserve "the key features of the building that Dr. King would remember," and it will add modern classroom and common areas, and safe pedestrian and bicycle routes.
The middle school is projected to open in 2020.