In 2001, Luther Brown, from Delta Sate University, and Susan Glisson, from the University of Mississippi, prepared the grant application, which calls for the original structure to be refurbished and opened as a community center offering special services to the local youth and elderly people. Two adjacent structures that were added in the 1950s will be “moth-balled” to prevent vandalism and trespassing into those unsafe structures. Along with Drew community members, Brown and Glisson serve on an advisory board that will oversee the project.
In the fall, 2001, Southern Studies students and members of Students Envisioning Equality through Diversity (SEED) from the University of Mississippi, students and faculty from Delta State, and members of the Sunflower County Freedom School, an after-school and summer tutoring program, gathered to help launch the project. They spent a day removing damaged furniture and refuse from the schoolhouse to prepare it for structural improvements to be paid for by the grant.Residents of Drew assisted the volunteers and provided lunch for everyone. They shared fond memories of their days at “Little Red.” Since then, members of the local community have continued the cleanup of the building. Professional work has begun and the first phase of restoration is now complete. The 28,000 square foot building has a new roof, newly-repointed brick work, and new main doors. We are now seeking new funds to continue the project.
Arts Commission Grant
Recently, the Mississippi Arts Commission awarded the Holly Grove CDC a grant to continue restoring the building. The $50,000 award requires a 40% cash match which means we have to raise $33,000. We have 2 years to raise this cash match. The funds will be used to install new wiring and plumbing in the recently completed phase I restoration as well as to develop a strategic plan for the full restoration of the building. To help build this cash match, you may send a check to:
Lil' Red School
P.O. Box 303
Drew, MS 39837