Old newspaper building could become arts facility

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) – The former Hattiesburg American building in downtown Hattiesburg may soon have a new purpose and new tenants – if city officials can find the money to get on board with a renovation project.

During Monday’s meeting of the Hattiesburg City Council, The Hattiesburg American reports council members heard Hattiesburg Arts Council officials’ proposed plans for the building, which has been vacant since the newspaper moved in summer 2014 to a new location. Under the proposition, Hattiesburg physician David McKellar, the owner of the building, would donate the 35,000-square-foot building to the city.

If and when council accepts the offer of ownership, HAC officials would ask the city to pay about $1.2 million over the next three years to help turn the building into a new Center for Community Arts Education.