BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Visitors to the Mississippi Gulf Coast will soon have a new place to learn about our rich heritage. The new Lighthouse Park and Biloxi Visitor's Center going up on Highway 90 is about halfway complete. The 22,000 square foot facility will offer dozens of interactive exhibits, explaining Biloxi's past, present, and future. But Biloxi Historical Administrator, Bill Raymond, said it's not just for tourists.
"I want it to be a center a hub for the community, not only for tourists, but for locals," explained Raymond. "So you can learn about, if you live here, you can learn about our community. If you visit here, you can learn about our history and what's going on today."
The building will also have room for traveling exhibits, as well as an upstairs theatre and event space. Raymond said the possibilities are endless.
"This is going to be a center that people can have events in. It is a huge building. We can have weddings, we can have class reunions. You can have parties here. So we're real excited about the possibilities for this building."
Raymond said it only seemed appropriate to build the Visitor's Center across from the most photographed landmark in Mississippi – the Biloxi Lighthouse. The Porter Avenue site also boasts historical significance.
"The first settlers landed here," project architect Leigh Jaunsen of Dale and Associates explained. "We're trying to bring back part of that history that they lost in the storm."
The Lighthouse Park and Biloxi Visitor's Center will also house the Biloxi and Biloxi Bay Chambers of Commerce. The building should be finished by Spring 2011.