New construction coming to Wilson after 57 years - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

New construction coming to Wilson after 57 years

WILSON, AR (KAIT) -

A small Mississippi County town is looking forward to change after 57 years without.

The community of Wilson gathered Saturday to celebrate growth for its historic town square.

“The town square defines our city,” said Wilson Mayor Becton Bell. “It's the first thing everyone notices when they come to town.”  Bell added this is the first ground breaking and new construction for the town square in 57 years.

A new museum will be built as part of an extension of the Hampson Archaeological State Park in Wilson.

Tess Pruett, superintendent for Hampson Archaeological State Park, said the new facility will be a great addition.

“A lot more exhibits, it will have outdoor exhibits as well with a new mound being built,” Pruett said. “And one of the original wild and dibe houses being built.”

Pruett said a new facility is needed because the current state park is dated.

“It did the job very well all these years,” Pruett said. “It's getting kind of old now, and it's really never been big enough for this wonderful collection we have.”

“They stated today, we've got about 10% to 20% of the collection in the museum we have now, and the new museum is going to house all of it,” Bell said.

The collection is part of the nationally renowned Nodena site located in Mississippi County.

“We have so much history here,” Pruett said. “Not just Native American history, that I think people would be really interested in.”

The new facility is being built to match the Tudor style architecture already on the square.

Bell and Pruett hope the addition will bring more visitors to Wilson.

“Hopefully it is going to bring a lot of tourism to the town and in turn help all of our businesses in town,” Bell said.

Bell said growth is important to the community of less than 1,000 people.

“I've lived here all my life and you know we are in the Delta,” Bell said. “Things aren't always looking up in the Delta, and for Wilson they are right now.”

Weather permitting, Pruett said construction on the new Hampson Archaeological Museum will be complete in a little over a year.

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