JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) approved a $50,000 grant to the Natchez-Adams School District for the creation of a master plan for the Washington School.

The plan for the site will include a conditions assessment, recommendations on priorities for repair and restoration, and possible uses for the building. The MDAH board voted to approve the grant during its regular meeting on Friday, October 21.

The Washington School, composed of buildings built in 1945 and 1951, is located on two blocks of the original platted and settled area of the town of Washington, which was Mississippi’s territorial capitol. The school is closely associated with the Territorial Era in Mississippi and Jefferson College. The building is considered architecturally significant and was designated a Mississippi Landmark in 1996.

“MDAH has special interest in the Washington School because of its proximity to Jefferson College, one of the state’s most historic places,” said MDAH director Katie Blount. “Preserving the Washington School is an important component of the department’s long-term plans for Jefferson College.”

The department will create an interpretive center on the campus of Jefferson College exploring the nationally significant history of the Natchez region. MDAH is also working with regional university partners to operate a preservation field school at the site, offering hands-on training in the preservation skills in high demand in the marketplace. The department will also work with the Natchez-Adams School District to offer these opportunities to their students.