• Morris Brown College raising money after fire, water cause $100K in damages

    By: Lori Wilson

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - A fire caused thousands of dollars in damage to a building at a historically black college in Atlanta over the weekend.

    Now, leaders at Morris Brown College are asking for your help. 

    The fire started in the office of the president on the the 2nd floor of the building. It caused so much damage that employees were told not to come to work on Monday.

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    “About 6 a.m. Saturday morning I got a call from my security team and they said there was a fire here at the campus,” the school’s interim president Dr. Kevin James said.

    James said he was told the fire only damaged his chair and desk and a few other items. The sprinklers came on and contained the fire but caused other problems.


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    "On Friday night, the sprinklers came on and we discovered it early Saturday morning, and so the entire building was flooded,” James said.

    On Monday, restoration crews worked both inside and outside of the building.

    Morris Brown College gained worldwide notoriety after the hit movies “Stomp the Yard” and “Drumline” were filmed there. A year after Hollywood left, the school found itself $30 million in debt, and it lost its accreditation.

    Now, James' efforts to restore Morris Brown are both physical and communal. He said Morris Brown needs to restore its reputation, accreditation and rightful place in the state's history. He hopes once this main building is restored, the school can get ready to apply for re-accreditation next year.

    “Just another road block but guess what? We're going to overcome this and we're going to keep moving forward,” James said. “Restore Morris Brown, the hard reset.”

    There is a GoFundMe page set up for anyone who wants to help the school meet their $100,000 goal for repairs.

    “We're going to be reaching out to the alums to give what they can, and the community and other supporters to help us to raise the dollars needed to restore the building, James said.

    James said the school is having conversations with the insurance company about covering the costs, but he has crews in the building working right now, and so now is when he is asking for help.

    The fire department was not able to determine a cause of the fire.

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