Our Journey In Time
1876 – Public School No. 5, the William Hilles School, is built at 1213 Walnut Street as a school to serve white students
1923 – Public School No. 5 (PS#5) becomes a school for African American students on the East Side of Wilmington
Early 1950’s – PS#5 closes and the students transition to the Frederick Douglass Elementary School
1953 – The Building is vacant and owned by the City of Wilmington
1972 – The building becomes the headquarters for Wilmington’s Licenses and Inspection Department
1981 – The building is demolished in May
1997 – MBNA America constructs Bracebridge IV (one of four buildings in its headquarters complex), an eleven floor, 450,000-square-foot building, on the former site of PS #5
2006 – Bank of America acquires MBNA and uses the building to house part of its continued operation
2012 – Bank of America donates the building to the Longwood Foundation
2012 – The Longwood Foundation creates the Community Education Building Corporation
2013 – CEB's repurposing of Bracebridge IV begins in March
2014 – Community Education Building receives its first tenant schools in July
2015 – Community Education Building receives its third tenant school in July
History of CEB
Community Education Building (CEB), located at 1200 N. French Street in Wilmington, Delaware, has been made possible by the generosity of Bank of America. The building, formerly known as Bracebridge IV, was built in 1997 by MBNA Corp. as part of a four building complex. The Bracebridge complex buildings are known for their architectural elegance and have a distinctive presence in Wilmington. Since it acquired MBNA in 2006, Bank of America used the building to house part of its headquarters for credit cards and other consumer banking products. On February 16, 2012, Bank of America announced that it would donate their Bracebridge IV building to the Longwood Foundation.
Building on a long history of commitment to public education and nonprofits, the Longwood Foundation has established an independent entity, Community Education Building, to receive the donation and transform it into a home for high-performing charter schools with an emphasis on providing a world class K-12 public education to Wilmington’s children.
By bringing together some of the best pedagogical platforms being implemented in the United States with the infrastructure and student support resources not readily available to charter schools, Community Education Building seeks to create an environment of educational excellence for our children. This initiative is open to Delaware charter schools looking to open or grow their schools, or replicate their educational models. It is also open to national charter operators interested in transforming Delaware’s public education landscape. All must be committed to serving children living and/or studying in the City of Wilmington.
The aim of these partnerships is not only to close the urban achievement gap we see in Wilmington and in many cities around the country, but to prepare our children to live and succeed in a global village.