Dozens packed the Hampton City Council chambers Wednesday for the renaming of a $3.5 million Olde Hampton neighborhood center in honor of Mary Jackson, a city native, and among the first African-American women to serve as a human computer at what is now NASA Langley.
Many of those in attendance included members of Jackson’s sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha to pay tribute to the pioneering engineer, whose story was featured in the book by Hampton native Margot Lee Shetterly and movie “Hidden Figures.”
Last July, members of Local 8888 of the United Steelworkers lobbied the City Council to have a public place named for Jackson. Jackson, who died in 2005, grew up in Olde Hampton and was a science education advocate.
The city is working with local neighborhood citizen groups to finalize the types of programs that will be featured at the center, City Manager Mary Bunting said. The city is also seeking to hire a firm for the building design.
Vice Mayor Linda Curtis said there is not a set location for the new Mary Jackson Neighborhood Center.