|City/Town: • Parkdale|
|Location Class: • School|
|Built: • Unknown | Abandoned: • 1994|
|Historic Designation: • African American Heritage Site|
|Status: • Abandoned • Endangered|
|Photojournalist: • Ginger Beck|
The Parkdale High School, which consolidated with Hamburg School District after the 1993 – 1994 school year, was originally an African American school called Savage High School right outside the town of Parkdale, Arkansas.
According to The Little Rock Crisis: What Desegregation Politics Says About Us by R. Perry, in 1958, during the Brown v. Board of Education uproar, the school had twelve teachers and an African American female principal. Jim Johnson, who would later be elected to the Arkansas Supreme Court, was so pro-segregation, that he journeyed to multiple schools, including Savage High School, to collect signatures opposing desegregation. Five teachers who refused to be bullied into signing did not have their contracts renewed the following year.
After desegregation, Savage High School was eventually integrated and became Parkdale High School, which operated until its last school year in 1993-1994.
The school, made of two buildings: classrooms and a gym, is now privately owned and monitored, partially used for storage and partially destroyed.
Over the years, teenagers from neighboring towns such as Hamburg, Wilmot, Montrose, Portland, and Lake Village used the building as a place to hang out, calling it “The Pool Hall” because of a pool table in one of the former school rooms. The classroom building is dangerous, especially toward the back where the entire ceiling has caved in and water damaged the inside. The gym itself is still intact and locked.
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