Natchez High alumni spruce up Margaret Martin center

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 20, 2010

NATCHEZ — Friday, organizers of the Natchez Festival of Music will recognize Natchez High School alumni for their role in sprucing up Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center.

Alumni raised approximately $6,000 for improvements to restrooms, Natchez Festival of Music Secretary Charlotte Copeland said Wednesday.

“The money was spent mainly on improving the public bathrooms downstairs for the ladies and gentlemen,” Copeland said.

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“(The bathrooms) were dark and dingy, and we had some plumbing not working, so we took out some of the sinks that were just so stained from ages and discarded them. We also killed the mildew and repainted the walls.

“In the ladies bathroom, we made a little, cozy lounge area and added flowers and little things.”

Money raised also went toward converting one large room into a boardroom and refreshment room for the festival. The alumni reception will be from 6 to 7 p.m. in the new boardroom.

“We’ve cleared the room out and painted it, added some furniture, and it looks great,” Copeland said.

Copeland credits former Natchez Mayor Tony Byrne for spearheading the project. Margaret Martin was the former home of Natchez High School, and several alumni contributed to the cause after Byrne mailed out letters requesting donations.

Copeland also credits interior decorator Pat Wise and contractor Wallace Willard for their contributions to the project.

“(The alumni) have such pride in that school, and I think they should be recognized,” Copeland said. “They were so proud of what they did and we appreciate truly appreciate them.

“We hope all the alumni will come out Friday. There’s a bond there with that school.”

Copeland said the Natchez High School Class of 1954 raised the most money at $2,500.