Renovations continue at the historic Wechsler School in Meridian.
“We’re trying to restore the school. The significance of the school is that the original portion was built in 1892. It was the first brick structure built in Mississippi for African Americans using public funds,” said Edward Lynch, board president of the Wechsler Foundation.
After receiving a $107,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the Wechsler Foundation is looking to rebuild the school’s roof. The foundation is now accepting architect bids to complete the project.
“We have a leak. That’s the reason we’re having to do the roof right now because with MDAH, they will not give us money to do anything else before we secure the building as far as the roof,” said Lynch.
Tuesday, the foundation received a $1,254 grant from the Community Foundation of East Mississippi to secure the windows and doors.
“Just making it environmentally friendly until we can finish the work. Basically, to be able to board up the windows and doors, to keep the elements out, and to keep people out,” said Lynch.
He added that, once finished, the restored school will function as a hub for community events.
“Basically, what we would like to do is things like act prep. We would like to have a business incubator there. Technology is in the forefront of everything, and things of that sort. Not trying to reproduce anything currently going on in the community, but trying to support what we have here.”
All bids must be submitted by Tuesday, September 19. For more information about the architect bids or to make a donation to the historic renovations project, you can visit www.wechslerfoundation.com.