West Pascagoula Colored School
Listed as a Mississippi Landmark
With $200 in funding from the Jackson County Board of Supervisors and $500 raised by the community, the West Pascagoula Colored School was constructed in 1921 in the West Indies style. Ms. Ernestine Fountain taught approximately 22 students each year in this one room school house, which was heated by pot-belly stove. The school closed in 1946 and the building was used as a community center, senior citizen center and voting precinct. Situated in a city park, the building has been vacant since being acquired by the city of Gautier in the 1980s.
The West Pascagoula Colored School is in remarkably good condition for having been vacant and neglected for over thirty years. The Gautier Historic and Preservation Commission is working with the city of Gautier to raise funds to restore the building for use as a local history museum.
2015 Update – In Progress
In 2013, the City of Gautier received a Community Heritage Preservation (CHP) Grant from MDAH for $480,000 with a $20,000 match. Since then, the Biloxi architectural firm, Dale Partners Architects, has documented the existing structure and prepared plans for stabilizing the building for future rehabilitation. During the first phase of repairs, the roof will be replaced and the foundation stabilized. A Steering Committee has been formed and the Gautier Historic Preservation Commission has created sponsorship materials to begin fundraising for the local match. The goal is to turn the structure into an Historic Schoolhouse and Cultural Museum that showcases its history as a one-room school from the 1920s to the 1940s.