Two days after the blaze and architects say some of the building has to be torn down. A massive blaze destroyed the entire interior of the old Hattiesburg High School. Now, architects say the top two floors of the four story building have to be torn down.
"The front wall is leaning out towards Main Street and the back wall is leaning against the courtyard about to fall against the other building," says architect Sara Newton, "and so just to make it safe, we need to address some of the portions that are not supported right now."
Newton, an architect for the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association, says tearing down the top portions of the building is important for two reasons--safety and to allow workers the chance to clean up the huge piles of burned debris. She adds after the school is completely cleaned, there may be a chance for the owners to restore most of the building. The Downtown Association says, that's exactly what they plan to do.
"I've gotten calls, emails to save the building--to save what we can and we're in the same mind. We want to save the building and rebuild," says Downtown Association Executive Director Bernice Linton.