‘A high standard of education’ | Friends of Knoxville College hope campus is restored
Some neighbors are calling for the Knoxville College campus to be demolished, but supporters of the historically black college said East Tennessee needs the school now more than ever.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Despite only offering online classes, Knoxville College is East Tennessee’s only remaining historically black college. Friends of the school are hoping the campus can be restored to what it once was.
Previous Coverage: KPD identifies 2 bodies found inside Knoxville College building
Vivian Shipe grew up around the sights and sounds of Knoxville College. “There was music and people are going to class. There’s all kinds of activities. The community is engaged, and the college is engaged. That’s what it was like. There was such a high standard of education,” she said.
Some are calling for the Knoxville College campus to be demolished or repurposed. Knoxville Fire Department responded to the campus ten times in the last year. One of those calls led to the discovery of two dead bodies in an unused building. Only two of the campus’ 17 buildings are operational.
Previous Coverage: Knoxville College neighbors concerned after fire, bodies found
Shipe said the school is still worth restoring. “You take small steps to be successful. It’s one step at a time. You start where you are,” Shipe said.
“Knoxville College was built by slaves. Those bricks you walk upon, that those buildings are made of, are built because they wanted to have a place for higher education for black people,” she said.
She hopes city leaders, the school’s board of trustees and supporters band together to restore the campus.
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