By Frank Denzler Rushville Republican
---- — What is now known as the Booker T. Washington Community Center, located in the 500 block of East Seventh Street, has served the community in a number of ways since the structure was built in 1904.
For 28 years, until 1932, it served as Rushville’s African-American community elementary school for grades one through eight until closed in 1932 as a result of financial constraints.
Although the building was no longer used for education, it remained a vital part of the east side community, serving as a meeting place, Masonic Temple and playground for area youth.
In 1988, due in large part to a concerted effort by civic and community-minded individuals and businesses, a renovation and preservation effort was undertaken at the former school.
Since that time, the building has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and 25-years later, the Booker T. Washington Community Center continues to serve the community as a multi-use facility. The building currently is the site of Head Start pre-school and provides office space for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rush County and others.
Recent updates to the building have included new windows, a new roof and playground equipment. According to Billy Ray Goins, this year’s monies from an annual golf outing fundraiser will be used to further enhance and expand the playground equipment and area.
For several years, to generate funding to maintain and improve the structure, a golf outing has been held to generate much needed funding for improvement projects; this year will be no exception. The annual event is set for Aug. 24 with tee off at 8 a.m. at Horseshoe Bend Golf Course, 643 East CR 1200N.
A shotgun scramble format will be used with individual golfer fees of $60 or $240 for a team of four. Fees include a cart, continental breakfast, lunch and prizes.
A pre-event appreciation reception will be held at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Rushville Elks. The evening will include a meal, silent auction and entertainment.
For additional information, to donate items for the silent auction or to enter a team, John Byrne can be contacted at (765) 932-2714 or call Goins at (765) 932-4970.
Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106