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By Charlotte Smith

On February 19, 2024, the Board of County Commissioners for Bladen County approved Bladen Community College’s (BCC) Request for Fiscal Year 2024-25 Capital and Operating Budget to acquire the Booker T. Washington School Property. President of BCC, Dr. Amanda Lee presented an in-depth review of the proposed acquisition to the board members, highlighting the potential for expanded curriculum and enrollment opportunities.

Dr. Lee emphasized, “Our goal is to provide a broader range of educational and vocational opportunities tailored to the specific needs of our community. Through the utilization of available resources, we aim to drive innovation, promote learning, and create a vibrant atmosphere of growth and collaboration. By seizing this opportunity, we not only enhance our college but also demonstrate our dedication to being student-centered and future-focused. Together, we can make a lasting impact by focusing on providing quality education and building the community resources needed to sustain and support our growth goals.”

The acquisition of the facility will grant the college 10 acres of land for agribusiness and expanded programs, including classrooms, an early childhood incubator, a compensatory education wing, a gym and community space, an administrative wing, and a kitchen and cafeteria.

View the forecasted revenue and operating budget from the presentation for the facility acquisition in the diagram below.

Situated at 66 Booker T. Washington Road in Clarkton, NC, the Booker T. Washington Facility was originally built in 1947 as a school with 29,593 square feet of space. It features over 12 classrooms, and 6,596 square feet of multipurpose gym and community space.

BCC plans to establish an Early Childhood Incubator, Trades Labs, Community Gardens, Summer Camps, and more at the facility. Dr. Lee reminded the commissioners that approving this plan aligns with the 2022-2032 Bladen County Strategic Plan. In closing, Dr. Lee expressed gratitude to the board for their time and stated, “We are more than ready to move forward with this acquisition and reintroduce the Booker T. Washington Facility to our community.”

The commissioners expressed excitement and approved the acquisition, eager for BCC to provide a broader range of educational and vocational opportunities to the community at a beloved facility.

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