Elizabeth Cottage gets restore funds

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 7, 2009

The Mississippi School of the Arts has received a $98,000Community Heritage Grant to be used toward the renovation ofElizabeth Cottage on the old Whitworth College campus.

The grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives andHistory was among 16 grants totaling $2 million announced Friday.The money, funded through the Mississippi Legislature, helpspreserve and restore historic courthouses and schools and, inCertified Local Government communities, other historicproperties.

“We’re happy to hear about it and it’s coming at a good time,”MSA Executive Director Suzanne Hirsch said about the grantmoney.

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Hirsch said the grant must be matched with 20 percent localfunds, which are being provided by the MSA Foundation. The totalcost is estimated at $120,000.

“Right now, it’s the only eyesore on the campus,” Hirsch saidabout Elizabeth Cottage, which is sometimes referred to as the oldPresident’s Home.

Hirsch said the initial phase of the project, provided there aresufficient funds, will see a new roof, fa├žade and porch for thebuilding. The first phase is designed to maintain the buildinguntil the second phase can be pursued.

“Structurally, the building is sound,” Hirsch said. “We justneed to do this to prevent further deterioration.”

The Board of Trustees of the Department of Archives and Historydetermined the grant recipients at a special meeting Friday.

Grant awards are paid on a reimbursable basis upon thesuccessful completion of the entire project or at the time of thecompletion of pre-established phases of the project. Prior toapplication all buildings must have been designated MississippiLandmarks.