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  • Yasmeen Mannan and Naisha Chowdhury

Founders Series: Our Red Brick Home

Anyone can have a dream, a goal, a vision, something that they would like to see one day come true. We all have longed for something, whether it be tangible or abstract, possible or impossible. But not everyone with a vision is the same. What separates us is the people who merely dream without action, and the people who believe in their goals and their abilities and do everything they can to make their dream a reality. The people who work tirelessly day and night. The people who are willing to try harder and not stop until they achieve what they believe in. For the PVS founders, quitting was never an option. Finally, after almost ten years of brainstorming, fundraising, and planning, the building for the Islamic school was ready to be fashioned.

With the land bought and ready to be used, the founders moved to the next step, which was “to establish a construction plan for a building,” explained Dr. Muhammad K. Zaman, one of the founders. “That took much effort and a long drawn out process of planning, designing, rethinking, revising.” Although time was of the essence, this was a project that had to be done carefully, thoughtfully, and precisely. The founders were not constructing just any ordinary building; they were building an institution that was going to be, as they hoped, a place where the leaders of the future community would be raised and nurtured. They needed the “size of the facility that would allow [them] to have a building that would last for at least 10-20 years with the growth of the community projected,” Zaman said.

Not long after, the founders’ project was given the green light to begin construction, and the building process began in early 1997. Meanwhile, the founders felt that school should start for the youngest children. In 1996, in modular portable classrooms located in the Masjid Al-Salam parking lot, the first group of Pre-Kindergarten- 2nd Grade students began their first year of school. There were four classrooms and three additional rooms for administration. Until the construction was completed, school continued in the modular classrooms.

The construction of the PVS building was one of the quickest projects the Memphis community has seen. The purchase and construction of the 25,000 square feet two-story building was completed within 12-18 months. After the construction was completed and the building was ready, the young Pre-Kindergarten- 2nd Grade students were brought from the Masjid Al-Salam portable classrooms to the new PVS building. From that point, every year, a new grade level was added, the school growing with the children.*

*this was done until 8th grade, and then a few years later, each high school grade was added the same way


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