Booker T. Washington High School was established as the result of petition-campaign by parents and students to the Cabin Creek District Board of Education in 1924. The only education available to black children beyond eighth grade then was to attend West Virginia State College, at Institute, West Virginia, which required parents to provide for expensive room and board fees. The land was donated by London residents, and the school opened in September 1925 with 35 students and three teachers. Students traveled as much as 55 miles to attend. In 1939, the school was renovated and expanded, and nine classrooms and other amenities were added. Desegregation efforts in 1956 caused high school students to disperse, and the property became Grant Junior High, then Grant Elementary, before finally closing in June 1986. The next year, the Washington High School Alumni Association was established to convert the property into a community center for residents of the upper Kanawha Valley. London, West Virginia, is located on the Kanawha River between Cedar Grove, West Virginia, and Smithers, West Virginia.
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