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Arts school to repair damaged column

The Mississippi School of the Arts will soon be repairing an entrance column at the corner of West Cherokee and South Jackson streets.

On Thursday, MSA Executive Director Suzanne Hirsch and other school employees were seen cleaning up around the columns near the time capsule on campus. One of the columns was hit by a vehicle earlier this week and was damaged.

“We got a lot of traction online with this,” Hirsch said.

Hirsch posted an appeal on Facebook and she said most of the cost has been taken care of.

“With Brookhaven being Brookhaven, they’ve stepped up,” Hirsch said. “We’ve raised nearly all of the money we think we’re going to need.”

Hirsch said the school has received two quotes so far for repairs to the column.

“We’re going to put out a call for brick masons, that can handle brick masonry,” Hirsch said. “It has to be salvaged; it can’t be rebuilt.”

Part of the quote is that the columns have to look alike, which will add to the cost.

Many residents have questioned why the arts school doesn’t have property insurance pay for the damage, but it isn’t that simple. For the school’s property insurance to cover the cost, the deductible is $500,000.

“It (the damages) doesn’t rise to that,” Hirsch said.

The school also doesn’t to make cuts anywhere it doesn’t need to.

“Our community has come together,” Hirsch said. “We have received pledges and we’re about $300 to $400 short of our base estimate.”

Hirsch said it was like the pledges came overnight. She put the appeal on Facebook Tuesday.

Other than the driver of the vehicle being taken to King’s Daughters Medical Center, no one else was injured. The column was knocked out of the ground and bricks were scattered all the way over to Lampton Auditorium.

Hirsch said the Whitworth college logo was not damaged and can be extracted from the column. The bricks will have to be chiseled off and cleaned and then the column will be rebuilt.

The school hopes to see the project completed by the beginning of January.