January 24, 2012 3:31:00 PM
JACKSON -- The Church of the Annunciation in Columbus and the Old Byhalia High School Auditorium have been awarded Community Heritage Preservation grants.
The grants were announced Monday by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. The board also announced the appointment of a Columbus tourism official to its board.
Built in 1863, the Church of the Annunciation is the oldest Catholic Church in northeast Mississippi. The award of $191,093 will cover the cost of roof replacement.
Located in Marshall County, the Old Byhalia High School Auditorium was built in the Italianate style in 1921. The award of $100,000 will go to the rehabilitation of the auditorium, which will be used by the Byhalia Arts Council and the Town of Byhalia.
The CHPG program helps preserve and restore historic courthouses and schools and other historic properties.
MDAH officials said grants from Mississippi Landmark Program were awarded to the McElroy-Hoye House in Newton County and the Noxubee County Courthouse.
The grant of $73,463 for the McElroy-Hoye House will go toward the completion of the exterior restoration and reconstruction and installation of electrical service to the house. The Noxubee County Courthouse will receive $80,000 for the purchase and installation of an independent generator system. The Neo-Greek Revival courthouse was built 1952.
Grants from the program may be used to pay the cost of acquisition, preservation, restoration, and operation of any Mississippi Landmark property. All buildings must have been designated Mississippi Landmarks before application.
Mississippi Landmark designation was approved for Mendenhall Public School, Alexander Hall at Jackson State University and the Natchez Toll Plaza.
The Archives and History board also appointed a new board member -- Nancy Carpenter, who is executive director of the Columbus Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Carpenter is a former bank officer in Jackson and Columbus. Former Gov. Haley Barbour appointed her to the Civil Rights Museum Advisory Commission. She is a former executive director of the Columbus Historic Foundation.
She will fill the term vacated by Martis D. Ramage Jr., who died in office in November.
Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.