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Wechsler alumni raise needed funds for project

By By Chris Allen Baker / staff writer
May 15, 2002
Supporters hoping to turn the Wechsler School into a community arts center passed one of their first hurdles when they raised $78,000 in money and grants for the project.
The money will be matched with another $78,000 in grants from the state Department of Archives and History and the Mississippi Arts Council for a total of $156,000.
The Wechsler project is estimated to cost about $1.3 million.
The total of $156,000 now available for the project included $25,000 raised from individuals. That money was matched with another $25,000 grant from the Mississippi Arts Council.
The $156,000 also includes a $53,000 grant from The Riley Foundation that will be matched with a $53,000 grant from the Department of Archives and History.
Becky Lewis, program director for The Riley Foundation, said the Wechsler Community Arts Center Association's commitment to the community was an important factor.
Plans for the Wechsler School include adding an auditorium for cultural events, a cafeteria for banquets and a museum for displaying relics of Wechsler's history.
A place for Wechsler alumni to meet is also planned.
Brewster said the association is waiting for architects to complete designs for the project, which could take more than a month. Then, he said, bids could go out and work could begin.

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