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At a special meeting on December 2 the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History awarded nearly $2 million on behalf of the Community Heritage Preservation Grant program to seventeen preservation and restoration projects from across the state. The Community Heritage Preservation Grant program, authorized and funded through the Mississippi Legislature, helps preserve and restore historic courthouses and schools and, in Certified Local Government communities, other historic properties. Over the life of the program the department has awarded more than $37 million to 300 projects.

"The Legislature has saved hundreds of significant Mississippi properties through this program," said MDAH director Katie Blount. "The Department of Archives and History is grateful for the Legislature's support and pleased to be able to help preserve these local treasures."

The grant awards are as follows:

Temple B'nai Israel, Natchez, Adams County—$105,795
For roofing and electrical repairs and interior rehabilitation.

Shaw High School, Shaw, Bolivar County—$120,000
For interior restoration, structural stabilization, and a conducted facilities study.

Okolona Elementary School, Okolona, Chickasaw County—$117,600
For building renovation and restoration of barrel roof.

West Point Colored High School, West Point, Clay County—$67,210
For roof repair.

Meadville Armory, Meadville, Franklin County—$39,600
For stabilization of the structure, foundation repair, and plasterwork.

Bailey School, Jackson, Hinds County—$370,000
For stabilization of the structure and restoration of the classrooms and auditorium.

LaPointe-Krebs House, Pascagoula, Jackson County—$210,480
For Phase IV of building rehabilitation and preservation of its mid-eighteenth century characteristics.

Poplar Hill Museum of African American Culture, Fayette, Jefferson County—$29,904
For exterior and interior restoration and ADA compliance.

Jones County Courthouse, Ellisville, Jones County—$156,894
For roofing repair and drainage improvement.

Wechsler School, Meridian, Lauderdale County—$85,824
For roofing renovation of the 1951 section of the building.

Columbia Waterworks, Columbia, Marion County—$69,483
For electrical repair and interior renovation.

Aberdeen M&O Depot, Aberdeen, Monroe County—$160,000
For interior and exterior restoration.

Newton City Hall, Newton, Newton County—$51,840
For roofing repairs and treating interior water damage due to roofing leaks.

Union County Courthouse, New Albany, Union County—$148,800
For restoring metal roof cornice and masonry.

Walthall County Courthouse, Tylertown, Walthall County—$59,648
For repairing the roofing, improving the drainage, and restoring interior windows.

Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation Convent, Vicksburg, Warren County —$75,447
For rehabilitation of the exterior and porch.

Yazoo City Hall, Yazoo City, Yazoo County—$128,916
For repairs to the gutters, roof, and bell tower.

Grant awards are paid on a reimbursable basis upon the successful completion of the entire project or at the time of the completion of pre-established phases of the project. Prior to application all buildings must have been designated Mississippi Landmarks. Only county or municipal governments, school districts, and nonprofit organizations granted Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service may submit applications. In reviewing and evaluating the grants, the Board of Trustees of MDAH attempted to balance the geographical distribution of grant awards.

To become a Certified Local Government, a community must adopt a preservation ordinance establishing a preservation commission in accordance with federal and state guidelines. Once the commission has been established, application for CLG status may be made to the National Park Service through the Department of Archives and History. MDAH works closely with local government officials and citizens to help them create and manage a workable local historic preservation program. To learn more about the CLG program, contact Barry White in the Historic Preservation Division of MDAH, 601-576-6940.

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