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.
Inside the Museum
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
Read bios of individuals featured on the oral history videos.
Erma McPherson-Brown is deeply rooted to the history of Princess Anne County-Union Kempsville High School. Thaddeus Cason, Sr.
Thaddeus Cason, Sr. has fond memories of his days at Princess Anne County Training School, which he graduated from in 1954. Dr. Joseph V. Boykin, Jr.
Dr. Boykin shares the legacy that his father, Joseph V. Boykin, Sr., established while serving as the second and final principal of PACTS/UKHS. Ms. Cora Lee Goodman
Ms. Goodman attended Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School providing her with a lifetime of memories. Ms. Esther Grimstead Wilson
Ms. Esther Grimstead Wilson wanted to be the first child in line on the opening morning for the Princess Anne County Training School. Ms. Margie Wilson Coefield
Ms. Margie Wilson Coefield still cherishes the initiative and motivation of the school's ancestors. Ms. Edna Hendrix
For many years, Ms. Edna Hendrix asserted herself to become the historian of Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High. Dr. Ray Spain
Once a shy student at Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School, Dr. Ray Spain found his path.