(Old) Pascagoula High School
Pascagoula, Mississippi (Jackson County)
When it opened in January, 1939, Pascagoula High School was hailed as the “most modern and complete high school unit in the state.” The school’s many new amenities included an auditorium with a seating capacity of 755, a well-equipped science laboratory, large library, music department, cafeteria, and business and homemaking classrooms. Designed by the Gulfport architectural firm Smith & Olschner, the building’s massive foot-thick brick walls lend it an air of solidity and permanence, yet at the same time its angular Art Moderne style points toward a bright future of endless possibilities. The school, with a final cost of $150,000, was constructed with funding from the Public Works Administration, a Depression-era federal program that was responsible for thousands of public buildings during the 1930s.
After continuous use for almost 60 years, the old high school was closed in 1997, and its students moved to a new larger complex. Since that time the main high school building has sat vacant. The current owner of the school, the City of Pascagoula, has sought to demolish the building, but a local citizens group has fought tenaciously to preserve it and its legacy for future generations.
2015 Update – Saved
Bayside Village now represents an adaptive reuse of the Old Pascagoula High School, built in the late 1930s. It was converted into an active senior living apartment building, meeting the needs of the residents while maintaining the integrity of this historic site. Bayside Village offers five floor plans in the 57-unit complex. In addition to the amenities listed, residents enjoy a fitness center, community rooms, media center, and resident gardens. Bayside Village is operated by Stratus Property Management. The Math and Science Building is being restored to become the Mississippi Maritime Museum.