Allen University Begins Renovation of Jim Crow-Era Hospital to Provide Classroom Space

Allen University, a historically Black educational institution in Columbia South Carolina, has begun a $10 million restoration project that will renovate the former Good Samaritan—Waverly Hospital. The hospital served as the main health care facility for Columbia’s African American community during the Jim Crow era.

The renovated building will include classroom space for the university’s education and new theology programs and a studio that will be used to host televised debates sponsored by the university’s new Institute for Civility. An annex is being added to honor the nine victims of the 2015 massacre at “Mother” Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. The annex will be named after the late Clementa C. Pinckney, a state senator who was one of those killed in the shooting. Three of the nine victims of the massacre were Allen University alumni.

Allen University enrolls about 750 undergraduate students and nearly 50 graduate students, according to the latest data supplied to the U.S. Department of Education. African Americans make up 96 percent of the student body. University officials hope that the renovated building – and the programs that will be housed within – will boost enrollment to 1,000 students.

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