Our Diverse History
Princess Anne County Training School was the first and only school for “colored children” in Princess Anne County, Virginia, which is now known as the city of Virginia Beach. Under the Princess Anne County Training Association, the county's African American parents, communities, teachers, churches and community organizations raised money to purchase property to build a high school to provide better educational advantages for African American children in the county.
In 1934, a temporary school site was established on the property of the predominantly black Union Baptist Church (located on South Boulevard, in the vicinity of present-day Mt. Trashmore) until a four-room building was completed in 1938 at the intersection of Cleveland Street and Witchduck Road. In 1949, construction started for additional space for Princess Anne County Training School.
The additional space included four new classrooms, a cafeteria and lavatories. According to Princess Anne County records, in 1950, a 15-acre site adjacent to the training was purchased to build a new high school for “Negro children.” The high school addition was completed in 1953. Among the new features were 14 classrooms, auditorium, home economic facilities, and a gymnasium.
Princess Anne County Training School later expanded in size and the facility and was renamed Union Kempsville High School in 1962. In 1969, the high school closed after city-wide integration of schools started in Virginia Beach. The last class graduated in 1969.
A visit to this museum, located directly inside the Renaissance Academy, will transport adults and children to a time in local history when PACTS/UKHS was the only school providing a secondary education for African American children in the former Princess Anne County, which is now the city of Virginia Beach.
|Hours of Operation:||
10:00am to 4:00pm
Monday - Saturday (through Labor Day)
After Labor Day
10:00am to 4:00pm
Monday - Saturday (when school is in session)
5100 Cleveland Street
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
|Contact Person:||Shirin Spencer, Museum Educator|
Various exhibits in the museum tell the story of PACTS/UKHS during its years of operation from 1938 to 1969. This is accomplished through history-rich information panels, videos of former students, digital yearbooks, and artifacts such as musical instruments, text books, band and military uniforms, class rings, athletic clothing, and more.
Of special interest is a large wall panel that displays a timeline of local, state and national history of African Americans, starting with slavery and ending with the election of President Obama.
Included in the museum is a scaled-down replica of the school's second auditorium, using wood from the old stage and wooden seats from the original auditorium.