Scott: Plans for College continue

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 17, 2005

NATCHEZ &045; A local committee will meet in June to finalize plans for use of the Natchez College facility, said the Rev. John Scott, committee chairman.

&uot;We’re in the process of making some plans for that (facility), and we’re going to try and pull that together&uot; by July, said Scott, pastor of Christian Hope Baptist Church.

Scott didn’t give a specific date for the June meeting but said the committee plans to present the plans for approval in July at the General Missionary Baptist State Convention.

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Although Scott would not give specifics of the plans just yet Mayor Phillip West, who attended a committee meeting in April, said the group plans to ask for Natchez College, owned by the convention, to be renovated as a site for youth programs and ministerial retreats.

That would be good news for supporters of the old college.

The cluster of seven buildings on North Union Street operated as a historically black two-year college from 1885 until it closed in the early 1990s, touching the lives of many black Natchezians.

Plans to use the site in the past have met roadblocks.

The convention was planning to demolish all the buildings and use the site as the location of its new retreat center.

Plans forwarded to the city showed a chapel, amphitheater, conference center, lodging, a pavilion, athletic areas and a children’s camp.

However, the Historic Preservation Commission voted in September 2003 to deny the convention permission to demolish the old college, citing the historic nature of the buildings.

Then in December, the college’s Owens Administration Building was destroyed by fire.