Address: Northern end of Coleman Park at the Northwest 7 Terrace
Side One: The first school for Pompano Beach’s African American students was a two-room wooden building that was destroyed in the 1926 Great Miami hurricane. Classes were held in the Psalters Temple AME Church until a new schoolhouse could be built on this site. In 1927, leaders in the Pompano Beach African American community and local families raised approximately $15,500 for the construction of a new Pompano Colored School. The Julius Rosenwald Foundation, a charitable organization that worked with Booker T. Washington and the Tuskegee Institute to increase educational opportunities for African American children across the South, supplied matching funds. Finished in 1928, the new two-story schoolhouse was built using concrete block and stucco. It featured an assembly hall, a library, a separate principal’s office, and six classrooms. The new school building was the second of four Rosenwald Schools in Broward County, and one of the 5,295 schools built by the Rosenwald Foundation during its tenure from 1913 to 1932. Side Two: Blanche General Ely served as the school’s principal, as she had at the previous school. It offered grades first through sixth and later expanded to tenth grade. The school year ran from September to December, broke for the harvest season, and resumed for May and June. During those last two months, students had to attend classes Monday through Saturday to make up the lost time. Ely lobbied for the construction of a high school in Pompano Beach, because many older students had to travel out of town to attend class. Named in her honor, the new Blanche Ely High School opened in 1952, and she served as its principal. In 1954, the Pompano Colored School was renamed Coleman Elementary School, in honor of the Reverend James Emanuel Coleman, pastor of Pompano’s Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. Following the integration of Florida’s public schools in the 1960s, enrollment at Coleman Elementary declined, and it was closed in 1969. The Broward County School District razed the schoolhouse in 1972. The Pompano Colored School provided quality education for the community, and reflected the extraordinary achievements of Pompano Beach’s early African American community.