The Wechsler School is on its way to becoming the community hub it once was. On Saturday, the Wechsler Foundation kicked off a capital campaign to rebuild the school.
“The Mississippi Department of archives and history has granted us almost $86,000. We are to match with approximately $20,000. We’re well on our way to raising that $20,000 with these capital campaigns that we’re now launching,” said Greg Moore, a member of the Wechsler Foundation.
To help raise funds, the foundation is bringing the Red Tail Traveling Exhibit to Meridian.
“On April 11 – 14, the [exhibit] will be here at the Wechsler property. It is an 18-wheeler that opens up to a museum. A fighter jet will be brought also. We may actually have some of the Tuskegee Airmen present if they’re available and able to travel at that time,” said Moore.
The exhibit will be free to the public and will later travel to Key Field.
A historic site, the Wechsler School was built in 1894. It was the first brick public school building in Mississippi built with public funds for African American children. The foundation hopes to restore the school to its former glory as a focal point in the community.
“There was a time when there were family events, church events, public events,” said Moore.
The foundation is asking for donations.
“This place has the potential to become a good center, where people can have lectures, seminars, and all types of social events. I think it will benefit the city greatly. That’s why I want everybody to come out and contribute, even time,” said Cedric Ruffin, another member of the foundation.
Donations can be made by calling the Wechsler Foundation or by visiting its website.