PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Some Mississippi developers have breathed new life into the old Pascagoula High School. The building was closed in 1997 and sat abandon for years. But now it's been transformed into an affordable senior housing complex that's filling a big need in the community.
Pascagoula High graduate Charlotte Hutchins remembers walking these halls as a high school senior. Now, she calls Bayside Village her home, and couldn't be more excited about it.
"I bugged them to death to find out when it would be open, so I can get my apartment," Hutchins said.
Her two bedroom unit is already filled with alumni paraphernalia and graduation pictures. Hutchins said just being inside the building brings back a flood of good memories.
"You go down the hall, and you find your homeroom and English class," Hutchins said.
The idea to convert the building into a senior living complex came after the school closed its doors in the late 1990s. Steve Nail is the developer.
"It was in pretty bad condition, but we saw something a lot of people didn't," Nail said. "So, through a lot of hard work, we were able to get tax credits and ever since then we have been working to get it in the condition you see."
There are 57 units in the building and the prices go up to $700, which Nail said is affordable and convenient for seniors.
"Our elderly population is continuing to grow and those elderly opportunities are not out there like they use to be," Nail said.
The school is also on the National Register of Historic Places, and that is definitely noticeable when you stroll in and around the landmark.
"The outside had to look like it did in 1939. The windows stayed the same, the lockers stayed the same, and all the corridors are pretty much like they were."
Just knowing this piece of history will stay here for years to come is very good news to the alumni.
"Most of the people who live in Pascagoula went to school here, and it's just a beautiful building," said Pascagoula graduate Richard Lucas.
The apartments are for seniors 55 and older. For more information, please call (228) 202-5076.