|Artist rendering of renovated HSCC (click on picture for larger image in a new browser window)
The Grand Opening was held on August 22nd, 2009! We
were delighted to have Jacquelyn Serwer as our guest speaker. Jacquelyn is the Chief Curator, National Museum of African
American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Read about it here: Hope School Dedication
Welcome to The Hope School Community Center web site!
Pictured above is the former Hope School in Pomaria,
South Carolina. The Hope School, built in 1925, is one of South Carolina's remaining Rosenwald Schools.
The Hope School Community Center, Inc., is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to raise funds to restore the former school
into a Community Center serving the citizens of Pomaria and Newberry County.
Check out photos from the renovation and Grand
Opening, click here!
Keeping the Dream Alive
The Hope School Community Center Restoration Project
What you are about to
read is a Vision God gave me. You will be surprised who is watching you and your works.
Originally built in 1925, the Hope School building had ceased
being used as a school in 1954 and was converted into workspace for alumni and the adjacent AME Church. My
sister, Lillie Flemon Wise, along with members of the Hope School Alumni Committee, lead the initial effort to raise funds,
hoping one day they would be able to restore the old school building they attended school at an early age.
I did not attend Hope School but my sisters and brothers
(the Flemons) did. Watching them inspired me to open my heart and mind and to go above and beyond the call
of duty, and make a difference in the Pomaria/Peak Area. After the death of my sister Lillie in March of
2003 God gave me a Vision to continue the work on the Hope School project!
I was determined to restart the Restoration Project so I sat down and wrote a Vision and Goals Statement
for the community center that I wanted us to create. I formed a plan from the beginning to the end and
then contacted and shared the plan with the Alumni Committee that had worked with my sister.
This group included Bo-Nita Heller, Louis Flemon, Thomas Flemon, Margaret Heller, Vivian Heller, Sim Heller, Leola
Glymph, Louise Spencer, Mary Rutherford, Washington Spencer and Freddie Houseal. They all were willing, excited and
anxious to continue working on this Great Project of fond memories.
The success of the project to date owes much to the dedication of the school alumni
and key volunteers. Some of the volunteers are related to the Hope Family whom donated the land back in the day for the school to be built. In 2006, Ronald Hope
and Jay Hope, along with their wives, Elsa and Joy, joined our committee.
In March 2007, I stepped down from Chairperson of the HSCC, Inc.
and to work as the Administrative Secretary. I knew it would take more leg work to start the physical restoration and
since I’m presently employed, I stepped down and the Board voted Ronald Hope as Chairperson.
during my term as HSCC Chairperson
- Vision and Goals formed
- HSCC, Inc. created and
registered as a SC non-profit organization
- 501© status obtained
- HSCC nominated for inclusion on the National
- Fundraising plan developed
written for restoration funds from SC Budget and Control Board
- State grant of $100,000 awarded for renovation
Always remember to commit:
you never commit yourself, you’ll never fail
With no risk there is no gain
and reaching goals enables you to do more for yourself and others too!
Click here to read a story written by the Hope School Alumni. Click here to meet the members of HSCC, and see a list of former students and teachers.
the Hope School
Hope School was named for James H. Hope, his brother, J.J. Hope, and his sister, Mary H. Hipp, who donated land from their ancestral estate to
build the school. Mr. Hope was Superintendent of Education for the State of South Carolina from 1922-1946
and spearheaded many projects to reduce school funding disparities between wealthy and poor counties and to
expand the educational opportunities of all races.
The school was constructed with matching funds from
the Julius Rosenwald Fund, created by the President of Sears in the early 1900s to help improve the education of rural
African Americans. Several teachers and students still live in the Pomaria area. The Hope Rosenwald School
was included as a historic site on the National Register of Historic Places on October 3, 2007.
Hope School was closed in 1954. The story of the School and her
students is being documented by filmmakers interested in preserving their history. Although conditions in
that era were harsh, Hope School students and teachers have many loving memories they want to share with the
This website is dedictated to
the memory of the Alumni Committee and former students and teachers. A former teacher, Mrs. Alverta Reeder, 90, was
tragically killed in a house fire in Newberry, February, 2007.