Historic Black College in Conroe to become community center for youth

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Plans for Conroe Normal and Industrial College include the addition of a soccer field and community garden. (Eva Vigh / Community Impact Journal)

For years the Conroe Normal and Industrial College, an all-black college built in 1903, stood empty on 10th Street.

The college was once an important and respected institution, according to the Texas State Historical Association. But after struggling to survive the Great Depression, he saw his enrollment decline again in the 1980s, and he eventually quit classes.

However, a recent partnership between a black activist and a Conroe police officer could help restore the college to a community youth center.

LaDon Johnson, an activist with the Good Brothers and Sisters of Montgomery County, a non-profit organization seeking to defend the black community, said he met Lt. Brent Stowe of the Conroe Police Department during an organized protest by Johnson after the death of George Floyd. The two became friends and came up with the idea of ​​restoring the college.

“We had the same vision,” Stowe said. cooking, among others, says LaDon.

The new center would be home to the Good Brothers and Sisters of Montgomery County as well as the Northside Lions of Montgomery County, a football program Stowe runs that works with young athletes.

“I’m just going to do some real community work,” Johnson said. “I’ll … get things done.”

The partners are in discussions with the owner and are seeking donations from citizens as well as funding from the county and city. There is no timeline or forecasted costs yet, but LaDon said his goal would be $ 1 million.

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