WACO, Texas (FOX 44) — The Paul Quinn Campus founded in Waco in the year 1877, has a rich history of being one of the first higher educational institutions owned and operated by African Americans.

And now, the Quinn Campus Incorporated non-profit organization aims to rehabilitate the William Decker Johnson Hall, designed by the-notable black architect, William Sidney Pittman.

“It’s a treasure. And just like with any treasure, you want to protect it. You want to ensure that it is available for future generations. And so it is our hope and our desire right now to, to preserve the building so that it can maintain its historical significance,” shares Quinn Campus Incorporated Board Chair Josette Ayres.

Plans for the building encompass maintaining its historical character, while re-purposing its use.

Such as, creating a centralized location for a workforce, community engagement, a development hub for the youth, office space, and educational purposes like, building resources and gaining a deeper understanding of the buildings historic essence.

This project is a personal one for many in the Waco community, especially for former Paul Quinn student Allen Kuykendall, who has high hopes for what this building could be for the African American generations to come.

“I hope that we have a in the curriculum that we set aside teaching young people entrepreneurship. I’m hoping that we take them, not lightly,” says Kuykendall.

Many hope these efforts will eventually encourage and inspire the minority youth when the restoration plans for Johnson Hall come to fruition.

Kuykandell leaves us all with this last meaningful message.

“We have to take the lid off, because we can fly higher and much further in life. If we learn to have faith in God and have faith in ourselves.”