Arabia Mountain Heritage Alliance to host final town halls to shape concepts for DeKalb County’s first black public school building



LITHONIA, GA– The final community engagement sessions to shape the conceptual design of the future of DeKalb’ County’s first Black public school building will take place at the Lithonia Woman’s Club, 2564 Wiggins Street, 1-4 p.m. on April 24 and May 7.

Thes sessions are part of a months-long effort to solicit community feedback and shape a conceptual design that will guide future activation and preservation of the historic Bruce Street School. The conceptual design process will wrap up in June.

Also known as the Lithonia Negro School and the Lithonia Colored School, the Bruce Street School was built and run by Lithonia’s Black community prior to integration. The school’s first graduating high school class (around 1943) included three pupils. By 1968, when the Bruce Street School was closed, there were over a dozen elementary and eight high school classrooms. Several outbuildings, now lost, had to be constructed in order to support the growing student body. The school building contains a rich history, and now people have an opportunity to determine how this space can become an active part of the community once again.

The two sessions will be led by Martin Rickles Studio and will be conducted in a Town Hall format. Community members are invited to attend a presentation by the Design Team on April 24th, to begin at 1:30. The remainder of the afternoon will allow time for the community to provide feedback about elements of the different design proposals. That feedback will be developed into a consolidated design scheme, which will again be shared for feedback on May 7th. These comments will shape the final conceptual design, to be unveiled in June of this year.

The project is a collaboration between the City of Lithonia, DeKalb County, and the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance. Funding has been provided byDeKalb County District 5 Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson and the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance.

For more information about the project, visit

About the Arabia Alliance 

The Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance is dedicated to protecting, connecting and sharing the powerful history, rich culture and engaging landscapes of the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area (AMNHA) for the benefit and enjoyment of all. The staff and volunteer board of the Arabia Alliance work with partners across the AMNHA to ensure that everyone can benefit from the cultural and natural resources of the National Heritage Area. For more information about the Bruce Street School project, visit


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