The West Bolivar Consolidated School District has plans to renovate the abandoned Shaw High School with the help of a $120,000 Community Heritage Preservation Grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.
The grant was awarded in December as part of a nearly $2 million for 17 projects around the state.
"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."
In March of last year, Superintendent James D. Johnson-Waldington received word that Shaw High School's classroom/administration building and gymnasium had been designated as a historical landmark by MDAH
This came after Johnson-Waldington had submitted a request to examine the school’s historical significance.
After a review of the two major buildings that make up Shaw High school were completed, the board of trustees unanimously voted to make the high school an official historical landmark.
"I feel great to have been a part of the effort to get this great institution designated as a historical landmark. The city of Shaw along with its present and future constituents deserve to have this beautiful building preserved,” said Johnson-Waldington.
Along with the designation of the building and the $120,000 grant donated by MDAH, an additional $30,000 was donated by the WBCSD in the name of restoring the two buildings.
Built in 1923, the 94-year-old school is in need of structural and cosmetic repairs such a leaky roof that has rotted a section of the bleachers in the gymnasium, as stated in the significance report done by MDAH.
Due to its current condition, the school has not been in use for quite some time.
"The building was maintained as well as local and state money would allow. With the influx of the grant proceeds, we will be able to speed up the timetable for the restoration,” said Johnson-Waldington.
In the meantime, the superintendent is looking towards the future. He plans to reopen the school once it has been restored for use as an educational institution for the school district.