Old Courthouse, Bowmar Elementary School receive grants from MDAH

Published 2:09 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Old Warren County Courthouse and Bowmar Elementary School will receive a portion of $3 million in grants from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

According to a news release from MDAH, the Old Courthouse will receive $100,000 for overall site drainage repairs and masonry wall stabilization.

“Warren County has known for some time that the wall surrounding the Old Courthouse needed to have drainage issues addressed and be stabilized,” Board of Supervisors President Kelle Barfield said. “Some of the masonry work is over 100 years old.”

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By comparison, the Alcorn County Courthouse received $150,000 for repairs, the Chickasaw County Courthouse received $214,690, and the Yalobusha County Courthouse received $191,275 for window replacement and restoration. The Holmes County Courthouse received $276,630 for second-floor courtroom restoration and masonry repointing, and the Wilkinson County Courthouse received $168,000 for clock tower stabilization.

Barfield said the next step for use of the grant money is to meet with engineers to determine the highest-priority projects, and complete those first.

Several years ago, the Board of Supervisors had a study conducted to determine the total cost of the repairs to the Old Courthouse, and it was in the neighborhood of $2 million,” Barfield said. “This funding is certainly appreciated and will help, but it’s a very small portion of the overall cost.

“This grant from MDAH gives us some budget certainty so we can move forward,” she said. “This relieves a little of the financial burden for Warren County.”

Bowmar Elementary School will receive a grant of $245,395 for exterior repairs to the school building.

Vicksburg Warren School District Superintendent Chad Shealy said the grant will help to preserve the history of the school for generations to come.

“We are grateful to the MDAH for awarding Bowmar a preservation grant for repairing and improving the school,” Shealy said. “I also want to thank the team at Dale Bailey Architects for their good work in preparing the grant request. Our hope is for Bowmar to continue to serve children well into the future and this grant will help make that possible.”

At its regular meeting on Jan. 22, the Board of Trustees of MDAH awarded over $3 million on behalf of the Community Heritage Preservation Grant program to 18 preservation and restoration projects from across the state.

The Community Heritage Preservation Grant program, authorized and funded by the Mississippi Legislature, helps preserve and restore historic courthouses and schools in Certified Local Government communities and other historic properties.

“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.”