GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Parking spaces are often hard to find at the Harrison County courthouse in Gulfport. But a $3 million project now underway should ease that problem.
Site work is well underway on the northside of the Harrison County Courthouse. The old surface lot is giving way to a 200 car parking garage, which will give courthouse visitors and employees an additional 77 spaces.
"It was hard getting a parking place out front, or anywhere around the courthouse," said Circuit Clerk Gayle Parker.
She said the new garage is a welcome improvement.
"A lot more convenient for the employees. And also for the people parking, the jurors coming in. It'll be a lot better for them too," Parker said.
Signs direct courthouse visitors to other parking, including riding a shuttle bus from the nearby federal court's parking garage.
Courthouse employees like Sabrina Landry are taking advantage of that option.
"You have to get here a little bit earlier. And you go to the parking garage in front of the federal courthouse, and then you take the bus over here to the courthouse. And it's really easy," she said.
Anybody who's reported for jury duty on a Monday morning or gone to the courthouse to buy a car tag can tell you about the tight parking situation. Many folks have had to drive around the courthouse more than once just to find an available space.
"Sometimes I can't find a parking place here in the morning. It just depends on what's happening with the courts and the various offices. As you know, we're the busiest office in the county, by far. Normal days here, maybe 1,200 people come in here. So, we hear it a lot," said Harrison County Tax Collector David LaRosa.
Construction of the new courthouse parking garage should be finished in eight to ten months. The project is being funded with grant money through the Mississippi Development Authority.