IP Center at North Bay under construction

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) - There was some good natured teasing Wednesday morning between leaders from Biloxi and D'Iberville.

It happened at the ground breaking for a new Boys and Girls Club location, which happens to be on the border line between those two cities.

But political affiliations were set aside for the overall good of the children.

Boys and Girls Club children giggled as they waited for the formal ceremony to begin.  Already under construction, the 21,000 square foot facility will be just what the executive director ordered for the boys and girls.

"I said it's controlled chaos. So, if you can give us a building that can help us control chaos and have kids to have fun while still being in a safe place, then we would have achieved that," said Director Sam Burke.

The new center is located right on the Biloxi-D'Iberville border, something the District 1 supervisor said is of little significance.

"There's the line, if you didn't realize," said Windy Swetman, pointing toward the street, "The imaginary line that says Biloxi and D'Iberville. These children know no lines. They just know they need a place that's safe, that they enjoy, that they can learn."

The finished facility will bear the name IP Center at North Bay, thanks to the generous financial support of the casino resort, which brought a half million dollar check to the ground breaking.

"We are excited to partner with an organization like this, that is so instrumental in developing tomorrow's leaders, which is what the world's all about," said casino executive Jon Lucas.

"You can see when you see steel and concrete going up it makes you feel proud, and that the end result we'll have a better and greater community because of this," said D'Iberville Mayor Rusty Quave.

The kids grabbed shovels and hard hats to make it official.

"When we come back next time for this kind of meeting, we'll be cutting a ribbon on a finished facility. And you're going to be amazed at what this is going to look like and what the kids are going to be able to accomplish," said Boys & Girls Clubs Chairman Wes Fulmer.

Executive Director Sam Burke announced the Boys & Girls Clubs has met its goal for the capital campaign. Mississippi Power Company's Anthony Topazi, led the effort that raised just over $15 million in three years.

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