Future of Gulfport's old library on hold

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It's one of the more recognizable buildings on the beach front, even with the damage.  However, what will become of Gulfport's old Library?

"As of this week, we have been contacted formally by the city of Gulfport. They're going to attempt to meet the requirements of the memorandum agreement that was signed by all the parties involved in this," said Harrison County Supervisor Kim Savant.

One option was demolition. The County Board of Supervisors received more than $200,000 in FEMA money to tear down the building, but those funds will expire if they aren't used by the end of August.

"The Board of Supervisors wants people to understand that we do not necessarily want to tear that building down; it's an economic issue with us. That if it has to be torn down that we don't want to forfeit the money to do that," said Savant.

The other option, pushed by groups like Save Our Library, is restoration; however, the county can't afford the cost. Also complicating any library takeovers are the number of invested parties, like:

  • FEMA
  • MEMA
  • Archives and History for the State of Mississippi
  • National Register
  • Harrison County Board of Supervisors
  • The City of Gulfport

Any interested party has to present a solid proposal with financial backing to meet the requirements set up by the groups.

"One of the things that Gulfport has to show is their plan for the library and the financial resources to execute that plan," said Savant. "We're on hold, and we'll wait until Gulfport makes their proposal."

Supervisors expect a proposal from Gulfport officials in the next few weeks.

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