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Progress made in raising funds for Wechsler School renovations

By By Chris Allen Baker / staff writer
May 17, 2002
A fund-raising effort to renovate the former Wechsler School into a thriving center for art and culture is making progress, officials say.
The Wechsler Community Arts Center Association hopes to raise about $1.3 million to renovate the building and do other work on the campus at 15th Street and 30th Avenue in Meridian. Toward that end, the association has received a $385,000 grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and a $37,000 grant from the Mississippi Arts Council.
In order to qualify for the state grants, local matching funds had to be raised. Officials said The Riley Foundation contributed $53,000 as the local match for the Archives Department grant. Almost $25,000 was raised through individual donors and corporations as a match for the Arts Council grant.
Plans also include creating an adult living complex, renovating the auditorium for cultural events, renovating the cafeteria for banquets and creating a museum for displaying memorabilia honoring all of the former black public schools in Meridian.

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