Monday, July 30, 2018

Goodbye Concordia

Kreft Center

View from Broad and 1st Avenue
Poor, sweet Concordia.  Concordia means harmony.  The school's 95 year history in Selma bore that to be an apt name.  Home of the first Rosa, Concordia was a school that taught all comers, regardless of race, creed, national origin, gender or age.  It was also this writer's alma mater.

Long she struggled against the powers that be.  Begun as a normal school for minorities, those running the school were forced to overcome obstacle after obstacle.  After 95 years of faithful instruction, however, economic conditions and a general move by potential students towards electronic education finally did her in.

There were signs.  When the football team was disbanded in 2016 it could have been seen as a sign that the belt should be tightened.  It may have already been too late, though.  Another sign could have been the high fence that had to be erected to protect the boarded students and school property.  Rumors indicated poor fiscal management, but when demand drops as spending goes up in any venture, it's really hard to make ends meet.  Seeing online schools like Pheonix and Liberty grow so exponentially should have been another sign.  Unfortunately, these signs went unheeded or at the very least, these issues went unremedied.

A large portion of downtown Selma now lies in silence.  From Broad Street to Martin Luther King Junior Street, between 1st Avenue and 5th Avenue, no activity can be seen.  Once teeming with hundreds of curious minds, the sidewalks are, today, still and quiet.  The gates are closed and locked.  The only observed movements on campus are swaying oak limbs and slowly growing grass. 

95 years.  Almost a century of education is quite a contribution.  Buildings built with donations of hard-earned money from very grateful alumni will now be falling into disrepair.  Young people gaining the knowledge to help them be successful contributors to a peaceful society will have to seek elsewhere to sate their curiosities.  It's a very sad thing to see it go, but hopefully its contribution will continue to be felt.