AmeriCorps clears city zoning hurdle

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The first phase of redevelopment of All Saints’ Episcopal School into an AmeriCorps campus should be completed by Jan. 1, representatives of the government volunteer service told members of the Vicksburg Zoning Board of Appeals Tuesday.

“We feel we can have the painting and carpeting completed close to the first of the year,” said Granville Tate, an attorney with Brunini Law Firm in Jackson.

“This is a multiphased project, and the other phases will begin as we gain other permits through the city.”

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

The zoning board unanimously approved a special exception to operate a campus, school and training facility at the property at 2717 Confederate Ave, with members Tim Fagerburg, Warren Jones, Fred Katzenmeyer and Tommie Rawlings in attendance. It was the first of multiple hurdles AmeriCorps will have to leap with the city before the campus can house volunteers. Other phases include bringing the 100-year-old building up to current codes and remodeling. 

Zoning Administrator Dalton McCarty called Tuesday’s action “just a formality,” adding the zoning department had no problems with the special exception and did not recommend any restrictions. The 40-acre All Saints’ campus operated as a school for nearly a century until 2006 when regular classes ceased due to a lack of financing.

Tate said if all goes as planned, 60 to 80 volunteers could take residency at All Saints’ by July. A year from then, Tate said up to 160 volunteers could live on campus.

“There’s also some green space available for new construction should AmeriCorps be interested,” he said.

AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, team-based residential program for men and women ages 18 to 24. The program, which is volunteer-oriented and requires a 10-month commitment, states its mission is to strengthen communities and develop leaders through direct, team-based national and local community service.

Trainees partner with nonprofit organizations, state and local agencies, as well as faith-based and community organizations to help complete service projects.

AmeriCorps has agreed to lease 75 percent of the All Saints’ property from the Episcopal diocese of Mississippi, which co-owns the school with the Episcopal dioceses of Louisiana, Arkansas and Western Louisiana.

The dioceses will retain the rest, and continue to fund the maintenance and upkeep of the buildings and grounds.

The Vicksburg AmeriCorps campus will be the fifth in the country, and Tate said volunteers will serve a 12-state area in the Southeast.

The other four are in Denver, Sacramento, Perry Point, Md., and Vinton, Iowa.


Contact Steve Sanoski at