by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/Owner – or

Despite many activities occurring at the J.W. Randolph Center in Pass Christian, an approved painting for the interior and exterior was approved by the city board of aldermen Tuesday, August 1, 2023.

The original cost $62,517.50 but the Pass Christian Main Street was given a grant of $25,000 to reduce the cost for payment of the architect and interior painting fees.

Another proposal for a $500 contribution to The LAD Project, a 501c3 organization that uses this building for classroom space. A request was made for money to assist with purchasing a file cabinet and lockable storage lockers. This non-profit corporation empowers youth and families to reach their full potential by such programs as after-school tutoring and mentoring.

Ward 2 Alderwoman Regina Charlot expressed her appreciation of what LAD Project CEO Tammie Dedeaux-Gray but mentioned the upcoming budget as a reason to withhold contribution.

Charlot did not want to set a precedent without going through the budget process first and limit the usage of outside groups from using the Randolph Center.

Historically, the J.W. Randolph School was constructed in 1928 as an African-American school. During the end of segregation in 1969, the building was restructured as Pass Christian Middle School until 2000.

Between 2000-2005, the facility was used as a Senior Center before the devastation from Hurricane Katrina.

In 2006, the Center was designated as a historic landmark. The city has used this for numerous civic activities, including as a voting poll, speakers, and theatre.

The city voted unanimously to table Dedeaux-Gray’s request under advisement.

Additionally, Pass Christian approved three Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with the state Department of Finance and Administration to accept Capital Expenditure Grants from House Bill 603, which was approved by the Legislature and signed into law following the 2023 Legislative Session.

These grant funds were $800,000 for the Fire Department, the Police Department, and Local Improvement Projects.