Cottage renovation more good MSA news

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, February 13, 2011

Anyone with memories of the grandeur of Whitworth Collegeprobably shares the Rev. Billy Gerald’s assessment of the currentstate of Elizabeth Cottage.

After living in the home for 10 years from 1966-1976, the formerWhitworth president tells us in today’s front page story hecouldn’t stand to see the cottage in the deteriorated condition itis now. Current Mississippi School of the Arts students likelydisregard the building on their way to class each day and have noappreciation of the structure that has stood in the middle ofcampus since 1913.

All those feelings will soon change thanks to MSA officials’efforts, a grant from the Mississippi Department of Archives andHistory and private fundraising.

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Full exterior and some interior renovation work is expected tobegin in about two weeks. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Fridayand the project should be done by July.

Once the project is completed, Elizabeth Cottage – named for thewife of college president Dr. Inman Cooper, who served from1902-1925 – will be used as classroom space for literary artsstudents. Also, the building will be used to house guest artists inresidence.

Most other buildings on the Whitworth campus have seen renovationwork and have been put to arts school use as classroom andperformance space.

Elizabeth Cottage can now share in the revival. And like the restof the campus, its rebirth will serve as another wonderful exampleof how community and school leaders have been able to look to thepast to help educate the future.