Mace’s Lane Community Center

By Cara Versace, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, Associate Principal


Summer is in full swing, and MCA is ramping up to start renovating the former Mace’s Lane High School, which will be revitalized into a community center for the City of Cambridge and the Boys & Girls Club.  Built in 1952, the iconic Mace’s Lane High School served an all African American student population until Dorchester County schools were integrated in 1969. The school was later re-purposed as a junior high school until a new middle school was built in 2004.  When the new school opened, Mace’s Lane School was abandoned—remaining empty to this day.

The mission for this project is “to preserve and transform the old Mace’s Lane High School into a community center that fosters inclusive community participation and provides an environmentally friendly facility for the arts, education, recreation, celebration, and locally based human services in order to increase opportunities for personal and collective growth in our community.” Serving residents and visitors to Dorchester County, this center will house a Boys & Girls Club, the Edythe M. Jolley Museum depicting the history of the school and the education of the African American community, a full-size gymnasium, and spaces for local community-based programs.

MCA is proud to unveil our most recent renderings showcasing this combined vision of multiple programs under one roof.  The design reflects the vibrancy of the region and this community by providing bold pops of color signifying the entrances to both the Museum and the Boys & Girls Club while preserving the historical brick fabric of the existing structure to remain. This juxtaposition of old and new materials exemplifies the mission of the center to reflect on the past while looking forward to the future.

MCA is working closely with the Mace’s Lane Community Center, Inc., the City of Cambridge, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Baltimore, and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation to bring new life to this iconic building.  We are thrilled to break ground on this inspirational project this summer. Be on the lookout for more updates as the project progresses!