Dr. Sharon Walker can't wait to step into a new 80,000 square foot marine education center on Biloxi's eastern tip. She even has a consultant's drawings to look at until her dream comes true.
"It just blew us away when the group of us saw the artist's rendering and what we've been working on and talking about," she says.
The marine education center is the heart of a master facelift for the Point.
"We just think the whole Point is going to be a real centerpiece and focal point for all of the Coast."
Walker's neighbor, the Isle of Capri, is one of the Point Cadet lease holders. Manager Bill Kilduff says any design proposal needs to compliment the pristine waterfront.
"It has great potential. JL Scott, the IHL have visions of a large aquarium, additional research areas and we totally support their wishes," Kilduff says.
Just as it is with any huge project, money will be the major challenge facing Point Cadet's new look. Dr. Walker estimates a bigger marine ed center will cost about $60 million.
Where that money will come from, she's not sure. But she's convinced investing in the Point will be a magnet for visitors.
"We need to look at more facilities like the Walter Anderson Museum, the George Ohr Museum, or Lynn Meadows Discovery Center, or the Seafood Museum so that there are more places for families and conventioneers to visit."
Kilduff agrees, but says finding the money will be a challenge.
"Right now there's several different figures being tossed around but it's a very expensive project."
A public hearing on the Point Cadet master plan is set for May 27th. It will be at the Marine Education Center, and Dr. Sharon Walker says people will get a better idea of the future possibilities when the consultant unveils the drawings.