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Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center (Lucy F. Simms School)

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Lucy F. Simms School
1938–1939; 1961 addition, D'Earcy P. Davis Jr. 620 Simms Ave.
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Virginia Department of Historic Resources)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)

Named for a local African American educator, this two-story brick school over a raised basement was planned as an elementary and high school for African American students. It was built by Nielson Brothers of Harrisonburg from stock plans provided by the Virginia Department of Education and partially funded by the PWA. But cost overruns delayed construction of the building's right portion until the 1960s. As completed by Davis of Harrisonburg, the thirteen-bay building has a U-shaped corridor on each floor, leading to classrooms and offices in the front section and the two end pavilions on the rear. Centered on the rear facade is a two-story gymnasium and auditorium with a raised stage. Although the school closed in 1966, it has been in continuous use for various community activities. This important African American landmark is also a particularly well-preserved example of preWorld War II schools in Virginia.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center (Lucy F. Simms School)", [Harrisonburg, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Virginia vol 2

Buildings of Virginia: Valley, Piedmont, Southside, and Southwest, Anne Carter Lee and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 91-91.

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