Old Washington School to be new park?

Published 1:01 am Thursday, May 31, 2018

NATCHEZ — A new future could be in store for the Old Washington School on U.S. 61 North.

The school, which is currently in the possession of the Natchez-Adams School District, could become a park adjoining the Historic Jefferson College property.

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At the May school board meeting, Mayor Darryl Grennell asked the school board to consider donating the Old Washington School to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

“The purpose of the donation is for the Department of Archives and History to get that property cleaned up,” Grennell said. “Take down the old school building, clean it up and connect it to the Jefferson school property out there.”

Grennell said the Mississippi Department of Archives and History actually approached him with the idea of the park several weeks ago.

“(It could be) a nice natural park that can be utilized by the citizens of Natchez and Adams County and others,” Grennell said.

Natchez-Adams School District Superintendent Fred Butcher said part of the building is currently leased to a trucking company and the rest is used for storage.

“The building,” Butcher said, “is in a challenging condition.”

Butcher said the board agreed to create a joint committee with the mayor’s office to decide the fate of the Old Washington School.

Butcher said the committee has not yet been formed, but board members expressed interest in the possibility.

“The building now is dilapidated,” Grennell said. “To restore it would cost millions of dollars.”

Grennell said he received a letter from the school district in reference to the joint committee, and he is ready to talk at their earliest convenience.

“It appears that they might be interested,” Grennell said. “It could be a great nice, natural park for our community. I think it’d be a win-win for everybody.”