GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - After Months worth of heated debate and plenty of give and take between the administration and the city council, Gulfport is moving forward with the new Dedeaux Road community center.
The $5 million facility will serve as both a community center and a fortified hurricane shelter designed to meet strict federal guidelines. "FEMA standards dictate that they have to be able to withstand 200 mile an hour winds" according to Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Womack.
Womack said the state and federal governments were there every step of the way "FEMA and MEMA reviewed the plans to make sure they were fully compliant".
Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr attended the groundbreaking. Warr, who is leaving office in a few days participated in what will likely be one of his last duties as Mayor. Warr wants the community center to serve as a symbol of unification between the city's southern sector and the annexed area of Orange Grove. "We don't want to be citizens south of I-10 and citizens north of I-10 that were annexed. We need to be Gulfport, Mississippi". says Warr.
The 12 thousand Square foot community center is scheduled to be completed in late 2010. The city complex will include a park.