Could the old VA Laundry be the next convention center? - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Could the old VA Laundry be the next convention center?

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Can you imagine a state of the art convention center located on the grounds of Gulfport's old VA property?  The Gulfport City Council can, and they said they image it taking life in the old VA laundry facility. 

They will soon set out to share their grand vision by bringing in consultants to paint a picture of the facility's potential. 

"This is a vision of a multipurpose building for the City of Gulfport. It would probably house conventions, it could house high school graduations, it could house Mardi Gras parties," said Gulfport Council President Ricky Dombrowski as he named off some of the possibilities. 

The Council president believes revitalizing this one building, could kick start development throughout the VA property.

"The VA property here, or the Centennial Plaza property as we call it now, has basically stayed dormant since the storm and we have not had a lot of interest come in besides a few things. This could possibly be the catalyst to get things rolling," said Dombrowski. 

However, before the city can breathe new life into the facility, a few questions- like how and how much- must be answered.

"The first step would be to do a feasibility study, hire a consultant to come in an actually look at the structure. The building is here. The building is strong, very sturdy. It lasted through Katrina," said Dombrowski.

While the 50,000 square foot VA laundry does need some help with aesthetics, the council said they feel it's just a diamond in the rough. 

This isn't the first time the Gulfport city leaders have looked at revamping the VA Laundry.  Leaders also did some brain storming back in 2008.

The council is expected to approve a consultant in their meeting Tuesday.

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