Bay St. Louis Community Hall nears compeletion

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - By Al Showers – bio | email

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - It's just a matter of time before the new $4 million community hall opens to residents of Bay St. Louis. The building, located in the city's historic Depot District, is in its final stages of completion.

Bay St. Louis Mayor Les Fillingame said visitors to the new community hall won't believe their eyes.

"It's exceeded all of our expectations," said Mayor Fillingame.

He described it as an impressive blend of old and new.

"It is so architecturally significant, the interior and exterior beauty of this building are going to draw a lot of events to this area."

The 6,000 square foot building features a large auditorium with the capacity to hold more than 700 people. There are also two large meeting rooms, a commercial kitchen, a reception area and office space.

"The whole facility kind of revolves around the main auditorium area, which is going to be able to accommodate anything from small to large wedding receptions to business conventions to musical events to performing acts. Spillover convention activity from Hollywood Casino during the year to corporate meeting space. High school proms are going to be popular here."

He said the historic look of the building is no accident. Architect Blenda Stewart pulled from other historic structures around town to design this one.

"And I think this will be one of those buildings that feels like it's always been here, even though we know it's brand new.  It came out of the dreams of the local rotary and grew into the dreams of the International Rotary Association."

The building is expected to be finished in December, but will open to the public in January.

Rotary International raised nearly a million dollars for the project. The remainder of the $4 million price tag was funded through a community development block grant.

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