Cornland School

Cornland School Restoration Project


The Cornland School Foundation, Inc. seeks to restore and preserve Cornland School, to dialogue about the educational history of African Americans post-Civil War and to remind people of the heritage of these people. In addition, the Foundation fosters relationships between generations by using Cornland’s empowering story to encourage students in the current generation to overcome academic obstacles in their own lives.


Cornland Foundation’s vision is to preserve and showcase the history and culture of African American early education and culture in Chesapeake, the Hampton Roads region, the Commonwealth, and the nation.


Cornland School, built in 1902 for the education of African Americans, is the oldest pre-Rosenwald school in Southeastern Virginia.

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The Foundation

The Cornland School Foundation, Inc. is an organization working to restore the schoolhouse and open it for community events.

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This one-room schoolhouse is a symbol of the enduring commitment African Americans showed for education at the time of Reconstruction and Segregation.

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Help Restore Cornland Schoolhouse

What has been completed:

  • Overgrown bushes and vines removed from building
  • Steps added
  • Asbestos removed from interior walls
  • Floor repaired
  • Windows covered
  • Nails replaced in roof
  • Doors temporarily repaired
  • Some exterior boards replaced
  • Sand placed under building to absorb moisture
  • Sills removed and replaced

What needs to be completed:

  • Move building to predetermined location
  • Build foundation
  • Landscape site
  • Obtain period furnishings and artifacts
  • Connect electricity
  • Install windows and doors

Make a Contribution

Please consider making a tax-free contribution to the Cornland School Foundation. With your help, we can restore and preserve our legacy for generations to come.


Graphic Representation of Cornland School Museum

The Cornland School Foundation in cooperation with the City of Chesapeake’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department are working to restore the historic Cornland School to a Museum that will be opened for the public.

Attention All Cornland School Alumni! Choose the image above to read the latest (11-03-21) Cornland School update and request for alumni information.

The Hampton Roads Community Foundation, Inc. awarded Cornland School Foundation, Inc. $24,000 to move the historic former school so it can be preserved and open for tours. Cornland School is the last school building remaining in Chesapeake that served African-American students from the early 1900s to 1952. It is on both the National Historic Register and the Virginia Landmark Register.  Funding is in part from the Vernon and Judith Cofer Fund.