Public input requested on proposal to honor the late Allen T. Small
Friday, June 5, 2015

CONCORD – At its June meeting, the Concord City Council will receive public input on a request to honor the late Allen. T Small. Following the public input, the City Council will consider a resolution supporting the designation of NCDOT's Bridge 266 on Cabarrus Avenue West over the Norfolk Southern Railroad in his honor and memory.

NCDOT is in the final months of a project to replace the bridge, with the City participating in the project to provide decorative and pedestrian enhancements. This bridge is an entrance to the community where Small lived and worked, as well as a gateway to Historic Downtown Concord, to which he frequently referred as "the heart of the community" and "the core of the apple."

Allen Thurman Small was born in Pittsboro in 1932, and dedicated his life to public service and education at an early age. He graduated from N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University with honors in 1956 and then served in the Army until honorably discharged in August, 1958.

He spent over three decades in public education, coming to Concord in 1958 to teach at Logan High School, and was later named principal. After earning a master's degree from Atlanta University on a Federal Education Grant, he was appointed principal of Coltrane-Webb Elementary School, becoming the first African-American to serve as principal of a desegregated school in Concord. He retired in 1992 as principal of Wolf Meadow Elementary School.

Small focused throughout his life on ensuring that all citizens have an opportunity to live, work, and play without discrimination. He served as president of the NC A&T Alumni Chapter in Concord for over ten years, and as Basileus of the Phi Chi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. The chapter selected him as Man of the Year twice, and his alma mater inducted him into the "Golden Aggies" on May 12, 2006.

Small served as a member of City Council from December 1997 until his passing on June 7, 2006.
He posthumously received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in August, 2006. Price Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church dedicated its family life center in honor of him November 12, 2006, hoping the facility would help the congregation and community embody his life motto: "things are looking up."

NCDOT has a
policy and procedure in place for naming roads, bridges, and ferries, pursuant to NCGS §136-18(8). This policy requires that all requests demonstrate strong local support for the naming, including unanimous adoption of a resolution of support from the local governing body, the opportunity for public input, and letters of recommendation from civic, service, or business organizations.

Those interested in providing feedback on the proposal can speak at the
City Council meeting, scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 11 in the Council Chambers at 26 Union Street S.