Dunbar Coalition receives $1.1M for renovations at former all-Black school | Local news

About $6 million has been used on renovations at the pavilion since 1995 up to last year, she said. The funding has come from federal allocations, city and county community development block grants, foundations, private donations and fundraising. “We are grateful for the financial support from Dunbar alumni, family, friends, businesses, houses of worship, national and local organizations and Tucson’s elected officials,” said Lander, a former reporter and copy editor for the Arizona Daily Star and former TUSD spokeswoman.

In addition to construction of an amphitheater on the south side of the building, the latest $1.1 million will go toward restoration of upstairs classrooms and the basement, fencing around the property, landscaping, signage and furniture. The coalition also was awarded $125,000 from Arizona State Historic Preservation Office for an African-American museum.

The coalition needs to write grants and fundraise another $2 million to have all the work completed, Lander said. The cost summary of work to be done was prepared by the architectural firm Poster Mirto McDonald, which has supervised all renovations, Lander said. 

Coalition Chairman Sam Brown, a former TUSD legal counsel who is chief civil deputy with the Pima County Attorney’s Office, said the coalition has been working to set policy and structure to take Dunbar to the next level. “We are ready to be the best Black cultural, community and arts center in the nation. We want to create something truly unique and special. We are collaborating with the Catalina Rotary Club of Tucson to build a five-year comprehensive campaign to raise $5 million, and we expect to kickoff the campaign late this year or early next year.

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