State board votes to designate Hunt High School as landmark

Board members from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History voted to designate the former Hunt High School building as a state landmark.

Posted: Apr 22, 2019 10:56 PM
Updated: Apr 23, 2019 10:05 AM

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) - Board members from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History voted to designate the former Hunt High School building as a state landmark.

The school is located in Columbus and was formerly one of the most significant schools for African-Americans in the state.


A tornado damaged the school in early 2019.

Nancy Carpenter is a board member, as well as the executive director of the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

She stressed the importance to retain the school's history.

Hunt High School opened in 1952 during segregation and was later integrated with Lee High School in 1970.

Jason Spears is the president of the Columbus Municipal School District.

He said the school produced great leaders and innovators who got their start there, and the district wants to utilize that in their school operations once it's rebuilt.

The Hunt facility was severely damaged in February's tornado that struck Columbus. 

Spears said the school district is finalizing details with an insurance provider before they can start the rebuilding process.  

Carpenter said some restrictions come with renovating a building with a state landmark status.

She said the guidelines may include strict restrictions on access to the building and materials used to preserve the building.

She also said the status may allow for tax credits, rehabilitation and grants.

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