The Wechsler School, one of the remaining buildings apart of Meridian’s black history, stands in disrepair. But the Wechsler foundation hopes to raise support for its restoration this Saturday during Wechsler Awareness Day.
“Our primary goal is to restore this building and this entire property to its former glory. It was a hub of activity including entertainment and theater arts. We have plans to make it an educational center as well as a resource for individuals who may have been previously incarcerated. Any kind of social action that we can promote through this building, we’re interested in trying to do,” said Rev. G. L. Moore, one of the foundation’s board members.
The school was built in 1894 and was the first brick public school in East Mississippi for African American children. It hasn’t been used as a school for the past 20 years, but currently functions as a museum.
“The museum is full of artifacts from a lot of other buildings that have been destroyed. There’s the COFO building, which was a hub for civil rights. We have memorabilia from there, as well as the original T.J. Harris High School and Middleton School and Baptist Seminary. So, the museum is a reflection of where we were and at the same time a reflection of where we’re going,” said Moore.
He added that any donation will be accepted during the event, which is free and starts at 10 a.m.
“It’s full of activities and fun for everyone. We have jump houses, a stage with an open mic contest, three-on-three basketball, pony rides, vendors, just a tremendous day on the Wechsler playground to bring awareness to the building itself.”