The Malvern Rosenwald School building was built in 1929. A total of $32,150 was allocated to Arkansas for the 1928-1929 budget year, which allowed the completion of 29 schools, three teachers' homes, seven vocational shops, and three school additions comprising five classrooms. Of the 29 schools completed during that period, the Malvern Rosenwald School was one of two eight-room schools built. (The other eight-room school, Scipio Jones High School in North Little Rock, has since been demolished.)
When the Malvern Rosenwald School initially opened in 1929, the building housed classes for first through ninth grades. However, by the 1939 fall semester, a group of Malvern's black citizens had protested about the conditions that existed at the school, such as the teachers' qualifications, the curriculum, and the lack of an opportunity for students to get a high school education in Malvern.
The Malvern Rosenwald School was also important to the area's black community during World War II. Tanner and Edward Bailey, principal of the Perla School, were put in charge of conducting the sugar ration program for all of the blacks in Hot Spring County, which they conducted from the Malvern School. Tanner and Bailey also enlisted three other teachers, a local businesswoman, and three students to help with the program.
This old school is currently in the process of renovation, and this project is overseen by Henry Mitchell. Mitchell wants to see this property brought back to life, and you can help donate or give him a call at 501-818-9126 to see how you can help!
Arkansas State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO)
The Preserve Arkansas
First Presbyterian Church in Argenta
201 W. Fourth Street
North Little Rock, AR 72114