Today the Goodwin Company received a fresh load of antique heart pine boards and two doors. The wood was delivered to us by Gainesville’s Knight Raven Enterprises from St. Augustine. These reclaimed boards were salvaged from St. Benedict the Moor Schoolhouse. The schoolhouse was built in 1898 and is the oldest surviving brick building in St. Augustine.
The school was built for educating Black children during segregation. It was one of the first schools for Black students in Florida. Its doors were closed in 1968 after public schools were desegregated and its students went to other schools in St. Augustine. Classes at St. Benedict were taught by Sisters of St. Joseph.
Present-day the walls are being held up by steel supports. There is no roof or windows, with plants growing up from the ground. The Sisters of St. Joseph now are looking to renovate the space to serve the community. It is being repurposed into a center for single mothers that earn just above government assistance but still need help. Jon Benoit from Behst Builders is undertaking the restoration efforts. The hopes are to preserve as much of the original wood as possible by the steady hands of the Goodwin Company team.