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SN renovates German Hall

By By LYDIA GRIMES – Features writer
At Alabama State University/Southern Normal, German Hall is a frame building that currently remains empty. However, after a lengthy renovation, this empty frame building will soon be home for many children who are eager to learn.
The building was originally built in 1927 or 1928 and given by friends of the Classes Germania and Pleasant Prairie in Iowa. The buildings within the learning village were composed of German immigrants belonging to the Reformed Church in America. This building provided four classrooms for elementary students and prepared them for Southern Normal High School. It was also used as the boys' dormitory before Kittell Hall was built.
The elementary school was known as the Piney Grove School and known principals were Viloa Harrison and Martha Green.
After the schools were integrated and the elementary school was discontinued, German Hall was converted into a recreational center with students selling refreshments three nights a week.
In 1969, the center was discontinued and German Hall was left empty until Mr. and Mrs. Hargis decided to use it as their home, and Fred Johnson used one room as an upholstery shop.
The Hall served as a teaching tool for the upholstery shop, to house volunteer workers and a storage area for the home economics department. Work was begun in 1995 and finished in 1996 on the building so that it could be used as extra dormitory space for boys. When the school closed, the building went unused for several years, and the hope now is to give it new life as a learning center for the community.
Alabama State University/Southern Normal will reopen and dedicate German Hall to be used as the 21st Century Community Learning Center on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2005 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. T&#8220This is kind of a historic event, and we are very, very excited about (the ceremony),” Johnson said.