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'It was disheartening': Historical Black school in Navasota damaged after Beryl, adds costs to renovation plan

Posted at 5:18 PM, Jul 09, 2024

NAVASOTA, Texas (KRHD) — The historical George Washington Carver High School building in Navasota was damaged after tropical system Beryl hit Monday. Now, it's adding more costs onto a non-profit's plan for restoration.

  • Tin siding, tents and umbrellas were damaged at the former George Washington Carver High School building from tropical system Beryl's rains and winds.
  • The school served as a school for African-Americans, but now, is the headquarters for its alumni association who's working to restore the building.
  • The organization is asking for donations from the community, estimating at least $50,000 for repairs.


Donald Wesley's basketball team The Texas Rebels practices in the gym at the old George Washington Carver High School.

"Well, I grew up in this community, and my dad went to school here. A lot of my aunts and relatives went to school here," he said.

But it's looking a bit different after Beryl.

"Any time that you have something that's destroyed, some kind of damage done to it, it affects you," Wesley said.

It's damaged on the side from heavy rain and wind, and though it won't affect practice, it does put a damper on plans the school's alumni association has to restore it.

"It was disheartening when I came, and the reason is because we are a small community, and we have been working so hard," Mary Mable, Vice President of the George Washington Carver High School Alumni Association and the building manager, said.

The building dates back to 1865, serving as a school for African-Americans.

Now, alumni volunteer and provide scholarships.

"In around 2019 or 2020, there was an estimation of where they had given out over $350,000 in scholarships," Evelyn Ward, President of the Scholarship Committee, said.

They're trying to raise money for the $500,000 worth of repairs to the gyms roof, but damage to it and other items will raise that price tag.

"We're probably looking at $50,000 worth of damage, maybe more for just what Beryl done," Ward said.

It isn't the first time.

"Every time, it seemed like we fixed one thing, another one come about," Mable said.

But they believe it's a legacy worth saving.

"This is the great beginning. It was disheartened, but yet better days are coming for Carver," she said.

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