BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - The Boys and Girls Club of Hancock County is celebrating its new home later today. The unit is holding a grand opening to show off the newly renovated Valena C. Jones school building on Old Spanish Trail.
The original building was built in 1947 and was the only school in Hancock County for African Americans at that time. It has now under gone a $5.5 million restoration. After desegregation, the building was turned over to the city and over the years it has been used as an activity center for senior Citizens, housed the police and fire departments and now it is home to the Boys and Girls Club.
"This is a great moment for our youth," said Greg Gipson, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast Operations Director. "Since the storm our Hancock County Unit has been moved to over five different temporary locations. We are thankful to the city and community leaders for providing this building. It is a great place to cultivate their talents and interest. The bottom line is to enable all youth, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens."
Krystal Allan will be at the grand opening of the center tonight when it gets underway at 5:00, and she'll show you later on wlox.com and WLOX News how this historic building has been updated to help yet another generation of South Mississippi children.