MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Mobile County school officials will hold a dedication and groundbreaking for the new Taylor-White Elementary School in west Mobile on Sunday, October 6.
The dedication will be at 2 p.m. in the school’s gymnasium and will be followed immediately by the ribbon cutting out front.
Taylor-White Elementary opened to its approximately 500 students on Aug. 19. It was built on Eliza Jordan Road with $11 million in federal stimulus funds.
The school is one of the first built in Alabama with a new requirement that a portion of the campus be designated as a tornado shelter. Thicker walls in one wing are able to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour.
Taylor-White has 24 classrooms spread out over 58,250-square feet. It was designed by The Architects Group (TAG) and built by Don Gordon Construction. The school boasts a beautiful gymnasium, a spacious library and state-of-the-art kitchen. The hallways are bright and accented with blue, green and yellow tiles. All of the classrooms feature SMARTboards and have wireless internet access.
The principal is Diana Shaw.
The school was named for two longtime Mobile County educators and assistant superintendents, Dr. Lemuel Taylor Jr. and Dr. Edward L. White.
A native of Prichard and one of 12 children, Taylor was the first of his siblings to earn a college degree. He is a product of the Mobile County Public School System and has degrees from what is now Bishop State Community College, Alabama State University, Iowa State University and the University of Alabama. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict.
Taylor had a distinguished career as a classroom teacher, assistant principal and principal before becoming Mobile County’s first black assistant superintendent in 1971. Taylor helped navigate MCPSS through desegregation, handling difficult issues in a way that was not divisive. He was known as a consensus builder. He retired in 1987 after 35 years of service to the school system.
White, a native of the small town of Kirkland in Escambia County, moved to Mobile after graduating from high school to work at Gulf Shipbuilding Corporation. He joined the Army in 1943, serving in the 45th Infantry “Thunderbird” Division, which was instrumental in the fall of Adolf Hitler and the freeing of Holocaust prisoners in World War II. He was honorably discharged in 1945, after which he received degrees from Howard College and Southwestern Theological Seminary, Auburn University, the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Alabama.
In 1953, White moved to Mobile to teach at Vigor High School. He was principal at B.C. Rain and Davidson high schools before becoming an assistant superintendent. He retired in 1987, after 33 years of service to the school system.
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