COVID Slowing Restoration of Boynton House in Selma
From the West Alabama Newsroom–
COVID-19 has slowed down the process of restoring the former house of a Selma voting rights legend — but it hasn’t stopped the progress.
The project to restore the former home of Samuel and Amelia Boynton got underway just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country.
It’s now been a little over two years since then — and the dilapidated house — is still dilapidated.
However, the team handling the project says it’s made progress. Even though it may be hard to tell — from the outside looking in.
“I’m on the inside looking out and I see a lot of progress that has been made that is not visible to the person on the outside looking in,” said project manager,” said Rev. Leodis Strong.
Property assessments — identification of hazardous materials — and the creation of a course of action to fix the problems — have been going on behind the scene.
All while having to get both the state — and federal approval — each step of the way.
“Everything we do has to be reviewed and approved by the National Park Service in Washington and the Alabama Historical Commission,” said project architect, Richard Hudgens.
“And it’s not just one review. It’s several stages of review while you’re designing the documents for restoration.”
A $500,000 dollar African-American Restoration Award Grant is funding phase one of the project.
“And comes with all the federal guidelines, mandates, regulations, which is a good thing,” said Strong.
“You don’t want any waste of money.”
Phase One of the project will structurally stabilize the historic house.
The Boynton House is owned by Gateway Educational Foundation.