By SALLY SEXTON
It’s been 14 long, and occasionally impatient, years for Raymond George.
For more than a decade, the Weatherford native has been devoted to a project close to his heart and heritage — restoring the Old Mount Pleasant Colored School.
“We want people to understand that we haven’t gone away,” George said of himself and committee in charge of the project. “We’re still here and we’re still working at this.”
Mount Pleasant was built as a two-room schoolhouse for African Americans in 1917, a time when segregation in schools was present.
George and his classmates attended the school until the ninth grade, when they were bussed to I.M. Terrell High School in Fort Worth. The school provided education until 1962, when schools integrated.
It wasn’t until 2011 that George and his team really got the task rolling by getting the word out about the project and generating community interest.
“That’s when people really got interested,” he said. “That’s when I began to understand that the people of this community are sympathetic and they do understand that we’re trying to preserve history.”
After a fund-raising campaign, the committee was able to generate $44,000 in public donations from August-November 2011, enough to buy the Mount Pleasant property, located south of West Oak Street.
“It was really impressive to me that as bad as the economy was, people still wanted to donate to a little black schoolhouse that I thought nobody cared about,” George said.
After the outpouring of support, the George began the process of clearing off the property, which included overgrown weeds and trees. A fence was put up around the school to try and prevent vandals from getting in.
Now, George’s main goal is to continue work on the structure itself. A new roof, donated by Roof King LLC, was recently put on the school.