Officials, Bates alumni to break ground for senior housing, community center

June 25, 1999|By Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan | Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan,SUN STAFF

State, county and Annapolis officials will join former students and administrators of Wiley H. Bates High School at 11 a.m. today to break ground for the site's redevelopment as a $2 million senior housing and community center.

The Bates school, on Smithville Street in Annapolis, was established in 1917 as the Annapolis Colored High School, from which many of the county's prominent African-Americans graduated.

It was Anne Arundel County's only African-American high school, graduating 44 classes before the county ended secondary-school segregation in 1966.

Bates then became an integrated junior high until 1981, when the school was permanently closed.

Speakers will include Janet S. Owens, Anne Arundel County executive; Dean L. Johnson, Annapolis mayor; Richard N. Dixon, state treasurer; Philip L. Brown, the last vice principal at Bates; and the Rev. Dr. Leroy Bowman, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Annapolis.

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