The Harriet Tubman School opened in 1949 as Howard County’s only all-black high school until it was closed through desegregation in 1965 and was used by the Howard County Public School System for more than 50 years.

On October 16, 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding was executed with the Howard County Public School System to transfer ownership of the Harriet Tubman School building and surrounding property (the “Harriet Tubman School site”) to Howard County to be preserved as a historic, educational and cultural center.

On September 5, 2017, the County Council passed Council Resolution No. 110-2017 that established a School Surplus Use Committee to advance the transfer of the Harriet Tubman School site to County ownership.

On December 5, 2017, the County Council was informed that the Harriet Tubman School site would be retained for County Government use, recognizing its importance to the community.

The ownership of the Harriet Tubman School site was transferred from the Howard County Public School System to Howard County on April 4, 2018.

Harriet Tubman school building

Upcoming Meeting

May 12th, 6pm at the Harriet Tubman School, 8045 Harriet Tubman Ln, Columbia, MD 21044. There is no April meeting.


The Harriet Tubman School Operations and Use Advisory Council was created by County Executive Ball’s Executive Order on September 21, 2019.  Its mission is to:

  1. Identify priorities for how to best use the historic Harriet Tubman School site as an educational and cultural center.
  2. Recommend opportunities to educate the community about the rich history of the students who attended the Harriet Tubman School.
  3. Advise the County Executive on an organizational structure that will serve to permanently coordinate and sustain the vision for the Harriet Tubman School as an educational and
  4. cultural center. This shall include developing operations for a multi-use facility including but not limited to, sponsorships, management required personnel, security, revenue sources, and audio-visual needs.
  5. Explore funding to allow for the advancement of recommendations made by the Advisory Council.
  6. Serve as a liaison to the community and share information with community groups and networks.
  7. Share other findings and/or recommendations that the Advisory Council deems appropriate.
  8. Explore a Business Plan Development which shall include:
  • The development of both Vision and Mission statements, operational overview, proposed management structure, priority of usage, and Program/Service opportunities; and
  • The possible development of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Harriet Tubman Foundation, the development of marketing and logos, and the determination of the names of rooms.

Council Members

The members meet on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 6pm.

The Council consists of the following members:

  • Bessie Bordenave - Chair
  • Herman Charity
  • Fred Dorsey
  • Shawn Gladden
  • Caleb Gould
  • Melvin Kelly
  • James LeMon
  • Howard Lyles
  • Becky McKirahan
  • Kristina McKirahan
  • Rev Doug Sands
  • Frank Turner
  • Willie Flowers

Staff Advisors:

  • Michael Kaminetz, Department of Public Works
  • Raul Delerme, Department of Recreation & Parks
  • Matt Madera, Department of Recreation & Parks
  • Nicola Morgal, Department of Recreation & Parks
  • Kori Jones, Department of Recreation & Parks
  • Jennifer Jones, Office of the County Executive
  • Lauren Myatt, Consultant
Meeting Agendas & Minutes

March 10, 2022

January 13, 2022


December 9, 2021

October 14, 2021

September 9, 2021

August 12, 2021

July 8, 2021

June 10, 2021

May 13, 2021

April 8, 2021

February 25, 2021

January 14, 2021


December 10, 2020

November 12, 2020

October 8, 2020

September 10, 2020

July 9, 2020

June 11, 2020

May 14, 2020

March 12, 2020

February 13, 2020

January 9, 2020


December 12, 2019

November 14, 2019

October 10, 2019

September 19, 2019

August 8, 2019

July 11, 2019

June 13, 2019

April 11, 2019

March 14, 2019

February 14, 2019


December 13, 2018

November 8, 2018

October 11, 2018

September 13, 2018

August 9, 2018

July 12, 2018

June 14, 2018

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