Ravens Give Baltimore School New Start
A high school in West Baltimore is getting a $1.5 million facelift thanks to a donation from the Baltimore Ravens.
Project Baltimore got an exclusive tour of the renovations underway at Renaissance Academy, where the principal told us this donation means much more than just new doors and windows.
Renaissance Academy has been through a lot, including the stabbing death of a student in 2015. A few months ago, North Avenue recommended closing it. But the principal tells Fox45, this donation changes everything.
“It’s just, it’s another stepping stone on the path to change the outcome for children, which is powerful,” says Principal Nikkia Rowe.
Come September, the halls of Renaissance Academy will look very different, and Principal Rowe will have one thing on her mind. She’s excited to see the faces of her students when they walk through the doors and see their new school.
“It will probably warm my heart, it will probably make me cry,” Rowe says.
The Baltimore Ravens have donated $1.5 million to give these students a school they can be proud of, especially after it was almost forced to shut down eight months ago. Renaissance is in the heart of West Baltimore, where students often see an unforgiving side of the city.
“There have been times when they have felt despair and they have felt hopelessness, and so I feel like this donation sends a different message to young people around them being worthy of the investment,” Rowe says.
Without this money, Principal Rowe and her students faced an uncertain future. But thanks to this donation, the building will have a large common area and a new main entrance, art room and modern science lab. The space for social workers to mentor students will also be expanded.
“To see the Ravens investing in this, it means so much, because I would hate to see my alma matter just disintegrate to nothing as if it was never here,” says Samierra Jones, who graduated from Renaissance Academy in 2013.
She and fellow Renaissance graduate, Paris Holmes, are now seniors at Coppin State University.
They know what the high school has been through, and they know what this donation will mean to the students who follow in their footsteps.
“It means that someone actually does care and that students are not being necessarily always labeled as the troubled, troublesome kids, or the children that they’re depicted so often and that somebody is still out there and has their best interest at heart,” says Holmes. “They definitely deserve the investment. All children deserve an investment. You can’t afford to give up on any children in Baltimore City.”
The renovation is scheduled to be completed by the time teachers report to the classroom in late August.