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Voorhees BookerT web-2.JPG


Voorhees College


Denmark, SC


Higher Education




Construction Administration

Voorhees College
Booker T. Washington

Building Envelope Repair

In 2020, GMK was retained by Voorhees College via competitive solicitation to undertake the design-build renovation and restoration of the Booker T. Washington Building located on the College’s Denmark, SC, campus. The partially grant-funded renovation/restoration project (entitled “The Elizabeth Evelyn Wright Legacy Project”) is being completed in conformance with the provisions of the US Department of the Interior Preservation Guidelines (Treatment Standards) and complies with the General and Special Provisions on NPS HBCU Grant No. P18AP00389, funded by the Department of Interior and administered by the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund. As a firm with a strong background in restoring Historic Structures, GMK is working closely with the College’s project director, project team staff, and other stakeholders to develop an effective and comprehensive restoration scope in line with the available budget. The project is being completed in two phases - with the initial phase including stabilization of the external framework of the building. The anticipated scope of work for Phase I:


  • Replacement of Roof 

  • Repair Foundation Issues

  • Replace and Finish Fascia and Eaves Boards

  • Install New Historical Downspouts

  • Repoint Mortar Joints, Replace Sills 

  • Paint All Trim, Windows, Sills Components

  • Replace Hand-Railing (ANSI 117.1 Standard)

  • HVAC System Replacement

  • Building Pressurizations

  • Water Damage Repair (Window Frames, Sashes, & Sills)

  • Miscellaneous Additional Restoration Items (Electrical Infrastructure, Historic Finishes, Plaster Analysis, Wall Covering Replacement, Wood Trim Casing Repair, Interior Door Replacement, Transom Replacement/Repair, Ceiling Repair)

The later Phase II will include more in-depth preservation planning through assessing interior structural threats and other architectural elements, as well as development of a comprehensive preservation plan for future efforts.
Voorhees College was founded in 1897 as Denmark Industrial School by Miss Elizabeth Evelyn Wright. The Voorhees College Historic District is comprised of thirteen buildings built between 1905 and 1935 and includes the Booker T. Washington Building. Miss Wright was a protégé of Booker T. Washington, for whom the Booker T. Washington Hospital was named when it was erected in 1905 as one of the first hospitals in the area built totally by blacks. This two-story brick building features Tuscan columns supporting a one-story porch across the façade, dentil molding and a leaded glass fanlight. The historic building is essential to the identity of Voorhees College and holds an imperiled fact: it is only building on the campus of Voorhees College where its founder, Elizabeth Evelyn Wright, touched and walked the halls prior to her death in 1906.  

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