The Douglasville School of Arts & Recreation, located at 1000 Shedrick Hardy Parkway, is home to a gymnasium, banquet room, classroom spaces, community garden, walking track, playground equipment and pavilion.
The main purpose of the campus is to serve as the home base for the Light of the City afterschool tutoring program and summer day camp, administered through Volunteers of America.
The Douglasville School of Arts & Recreation is also used by many local organizations and non-profits for meetings and venue space for community events. Some of the annual events held there including Christmas on the Circle, Unity Day, Back to School Bash, Juneteenth Celebration, Light the Way Family Day, among others.
The DSAR Banquet Room and Pavilion are also available for rent for special events and activities such as baby and wedding showers, family reunions, rallies, etc.
The Bay Minette Recreation Department also utilizes the campus to offer Open Gym sessions and sponsors free sports clinics including basketball, pickleball and step classes. For more information about these events, visit teamsideline.com/bayminette.
The Light of the City offers a free afterschool tutoring program for students in kindergarten through eighth grades. The program is sponsored by the Volunteers of America Southeast and meets 3 to 5 p.m. each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Light of the City also offers a free summer camp for area youth, providing daily recreational activities, meals and snacks for area children. This program is also supported through United Way of Baldwin County. To learn more about this program, follow Light of the City on Facebook: www.facebook.com/lotcbayminette
In 2018, City and LOTC staff wrote and won a grant from Impact 100 Baldwin County for The Light the Way Family Initiative. This grant helped fund a new gym floor, walking track, pavilion and community garden at the school campus. The gym floor includes courts for basketball, volleyball and pickleball.
The grant funds were supplemented with matching funds and in-kind work provided by City staff and North Baldwin Utilities for a total of $147,000 in improvements to the campus.
Work on the upgrades was completed in 2019 and a special ribbon cutting ceremony was held to showcase the many improvements to the campus.
Since that time, volunteers through United Way of Baldwin County and Alabama Power Service Organization have helped paint and spruce up the grounds while Baldwin County High’s FFA students built and installed raised garden bed as well as picnic tables. North Baldwin Center for Technology partnered with LOTC to provide plants and equipment for the community garden through a grant awarded by the North Baldwin Coalition for Excellence in Education. These and many other partnerships continue to grow to help meet the needs of the campus.
To learn more about Impact 100 Baldwin County, visit impact100baldwincounty.org
The Douglasville School of Arts & Recreation previously served as a school campus. From 1949 until 1970, the campus was home to Douglasville High School which was the second public high school established for black students in Baldwin County.
After court ordered integration of schools in 1970, Douglasville’s students were transferred to Baldwin County High School in Bay Minette. The campus was then used to house Bay Minette Middle School and later Bay Minette Intermediate School, before closing as a school campus in 2006.
The City of Bay Minette later leased the facility from Baldwin County Board of Education to provide a home for Light of the City and other community uses.
The Douglasville High School Heritage Museum opened in 2017 at 1001 Shedrick Hardy Parkway. The museum, housed in the first permanent structure for the former Douglasville High School, is on property adjacent of the current Douglasville School of Arts & Recreation.
The Douglasville High School Alumni Association, Inc. was established in 1992 to help preserve the legacy and history of the school. The Douglasville High School Heritage Museum was officially dedicated June 30, 2017, and houses memorabilia and other artifacts of interest to the beloved school's alumni.
The Stephen J. Boykin historic marker was dedicated at the site in 2018. Boykin was a self-education man who founded the Normal School near the Douglasville school site in 1899. This was the first school for black students in Baldwin County. He also self-published The American Banner newspaper from 1899-1902.The Douglasville High School Heritage Museum is open for tours upon request. Group tours are welcomed and encouraged. For tours contact James D. Williams at 251-421-4636 or Ethel Higgins at 251-228-0073.