MDAH awards Hattiesburg with $35K grant for Hawkins Elementary

MDAH awards Hattiesburg with $35K grant for Hawkins Elementary
Hawkins Elementary School in Hattiesburg was awarded a $35,000 Heritage Preservation Grant from the state to help with roof repairs. (Source: Karrie Leggett-Brown)

From the City of Hattiesburg Communications Office

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Hawkins Elementary School in Hattiesburg will be receiving some financial help for renovations.

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History announced Friday afternoon that Hawkins Elementary would receive a $35,000 Heritage Preservation Grant.

Hawkins became the second school in Hattiesburg over the past two years to receive funding from the grant., joining 2019 recipient Woodley Elementary School.

“We are very thankful to have received this MDAH grant that will provide assistance in making needed repairs on the roof at Hawkins Elementary,” s Hattiesburg Public School District. Superintendent Robert Williams said in a release.  “Hawkins has a proud history and means a great deal to the surrounding community, and we look forward to continuing to upgrade the learning environment for our students.”

An art deco gem built in 1951, G.L. Hawkins Elementary School is one of 38 structures in Hattiesburg with “Mississippi Landmark” designation. Only structures with the designation are eligible for Heritage Preservation grants, and Hawkins was the only active school to receive the funding.

“Preservation grants are incredibly important to Hattiesburg because of how many buildings we have that have earned Mississippi Landmark designation,” Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker said. “Additionally, any funding received helps stretch our 2018 school bond proceeds to meet the many capital needs of our public schools.

“This grant happened through the advocacy of representatives Missy McGee and Percy Watson, the work of grant writer Jennifer Shows and the partnership between the City of Hattiesburg and the Hattiesburg Public School District.”

As a collaborative program between the City of Hattiesburg, its legislative delegation and the Hattiesburg Public School District, letters of support from McGee, Barker and Ward 4 Councilwoman Mary Dryden were instrumental in its application.

“For the second consecutive year, I am excited that Hattiesburg - and more specifically the students of the Hattiesburg Public School District - were the beneficiaries of this funding,” McGee said. “Hawkins is unique in that it is both a historic landmark and continues to educate children in our only active downtown public school.

“I am pleased the Legislature once again funded this program during the 2020 session, and I am hopeful we will have the opportunity and political will to provide additional funds to preserve and rehabilitate historically significant properties in 2021.”HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) -

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