It has been a busy week for the Hockessin Community Center (HCC) and the future of the historic Hockessin School #107C.
On Friday, Oct. 5, Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster placed the HCC and the school under new management, by forming a new board of directors.
Robert Fleming, a past president of the HCC, was named by Laster as the new Board President.
The school, located on Millcreek Road, is a significant piece of Delaware history. The five-acre property houses School #107C, once a one-room schoolhouse where all of the area's African-American children were once educated. The school played an important role in the Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education, which discontinued segregation in public education.
The Hockessin Community Center, which owns the school, owes Petrucon Construction $207,000 for construction work from 2009. The HCC ran out of money, and therefore, Petrucon abandoned the project, leaving the HCC to work out of an office rental nearby.
Financial hardship and how to pay off the debt have been long-standing issues for the HCC. The property's financial difficulties have almost sent the HCC to the auction block before, averted only at the last minute. The property was scheduled to be auctioned at sheriff's sale on Tuesday, Oct. 9, this time cancelled following a meeting by the Friends of Hockessin Colored School #107 and the HCC newly appointed board of directors.
"Negotiations with The Friends of School #107C and the newly configured Board of the Hockessin Community Center are now in progress with what appears to be positive results," board treasurer Francis Swift said via email.
Board leaders and members of the Friends group are currently looking forward to working together to secure the school's future in the Hockessin community.