Meridian, Miss After a full day spent cleaning up a portion of the Wechsler School, the doors opened Friday for tours so everyone could have a chance to see the historical building.
People came and went throughout the day, but early on a bus tour group stopped by. The bus was filled with Meridianites in town for the annual picnic, some of whom were able to find their high school pictures among the artifacts.
Doris J. Brown, who graduated from Wechsler in 1947 says, "It feels good to be home. Some of the places I can recognize and some of the places I cannot. They've changed the names of the streets; they've made one-way streets and some other things have changed. But I try to come back every year in order to see the changes."
The school isn't just a major historical building for both Mississippians and African Americans, but something more personal than that. The building was once a symbol for the community for generations of students. Many want to see it restored to greatness.
Melba Clark of the Wechsler Community Arts board says, "It’s the last African American building in Meridian with some history and this is why it's so important to be reserved, and not only preserved, but used for good purposes."
Restoration efforts have been underway since the 1980s, but only recently have they intensified.
"We’ve had spells of inactivity, but now we are working on it again and this time I think it's really going to succeed because we realize the historical significance of Wechsler," says Clark.