Nearly 800 participants responded to the joint call from the City of Concord and Barber-Scotia College for community input on the revitalization of the HBCU and its campus. The community survey and online presentation ran the entire month of May, and included a video that explained the project, the survey, and historical significance of the school.
Members of the Barber-Scotia Community Task Force, which is charged with developing a plan for the HBCU campus and making recommendations to Concord City Council and Barber-Scotia College Board of Trustees, reviewed the data and overall were pleased with the results. Altogether, 797 participants responded to the community survey, generating 12,516 responses and 2,245 comments. After reviewing the survey data, Task Force members reported:
- 72.5% of participants believe education should be a main component of any revitalization effort
- 79.8% of participants believe culture and history should be a main component of any revitalization effort
- 91.2% of participants believe community impact should be a main component of any revitalization effort
“The survey results show our community recognizes how important education is to the future of Barber-Scotia College,” said JC McKenzie, Concord City Council Member. “But that’s not the only piece of the puzzle. It’s imperative we preserve the history of the college and campus, while also being mindful that any revitalization effort should positively impact our city, including the surrounding neighborhoods and broader Concord community.”
“It’s been really great hearing from the community during this whole process because some of their interests align with what we’ve been planning,” said Dr. Melvin Douglass, President of Barber-Scotia College. “In addition to our 4-year degree program, the Barber-Scotia College Board of Trustees and I are exploring various entrepreneurial, vocational, and, technical programs, along with many other community-related opportunities. Everything we are doing is to meet the demand of today’s students. We appreciate the time the citizens of Concord, alumni, friends and family took to participate in the survey, and value every piece of feedback. The input of the community will help us formulate a viable plan for Barber-Scotia’s path forward.”
Barber-Scotia and the City of Concord continue to work together in collaboration to explore possibilities for revitalization of the iconic HBCU. There have been many positive developments over the past two years, including the college having nearly $12 million of debt forgiven as part of the U.S. Department of Education HBCU Capital Financing loan forgiveness.