MSU School of Architecture works with NWPAA and Boys & Girls Clubs in historic restoration

Staff Writer

The National West Point Alumni Association has been working diligently for many years to restore the Northside School. Many members of the Alumni Association attended school there when it was an elementary school. It is a historic landmark that the NWPAA plan to use as a meeting area and a museum. They have also offered space to the Boys & Girls Club of Clay County when the renovations are complete. This is a huge project. The Mississippi State University School of Architecture has offered a helping hand.
"Our fourth year architectural students are taking photos and measurements," Alexis Gregory, associate professor with the MSU School of Architecture, said. "They are measuring and drawing the building, they will put it into a 3D program and create modules of the new spaces."

Robert Matthews president of the National West Point Alumni Association gave the students from MSU a brief history lesson on the Northside School.
"It was originally the West Point Colored High School." Matthews said. "Until the 1950s when it became Northside Elementary School. Many of us in the Alumni Association went here as our first school. It is our plan to make part of the building into a museum."
Matthews said they are currently working with the city grant writer, Melanie Busby to procure more funds for the project.
"We have the funds for a matching grant right now," Matthews said. "But there is still so much more that we need to complete the renovation."
He said they are actively partnering with Nadia Colom and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Clay County, to allow them the space they need for their meetings and activities.

Major Design Studios of Columbus are working with the MSU School of Architecture students.
"They have to have a professional design team work with them on projects," Gregory said. "We have worked with Major Design Studios before."
Major Andrews of Major Design Studios was interested in seeing the historic old building and toured it with the students.
"We came to access the building, get the numbers and see the space," Andrews said. "We've worked with this class previously and we work well together. We are looking forward to working on the project with the architecture class and the Boys & Girls Clubs.