The historic Y.E. Smith school building sits near the corner of Driver and Main Streets in East Durham. The property is currently vacant and is in disrepair. Self-Help plans to acquire the property, fully renovate it and lease it to Maureen Joy Charter School, a public charter school currently based in West Durham. The renovated campus will allow Maureen Joy to better serve existing students, many of whom live in East Durham, by providing a high-quality school building with laboratories, a large auditorium, a gymnasium and a library.
In addition to impacting the children enrolled at the school, this project aligns well with the published community plans for revitalization. The historic Y.E. Smith revitalization will bring nearly $10 million of investment to the area. Upon completion in 2013, this currently vacant building will be transformed into an anchor for continued revitalization in the community, building on recent investments by the public and private sectors.