BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - For nearly eight years, the first building guests at Beauvoir see coming through the gates is a FEMA trailer. But in just days, the trailer will be hauled off and guests will be greeted inside the brand new Jefferson Davis Presidential Library.
"We have been working to get into the building since Katrina," Executive Director Bertram Hayes-Davis said. "We did the house, the two cottages. The library has taken about four years to build and it's in its final stages of completion."
Workers are eager to take over the building. They came ready to work Monday hauling boxes and unloading items into the new gift shop.
"It is an exciting day for us. This is the first time we are moving some of the stuff out of the FEMA trailer and into the library and into the gift store," Hayes-Davis said.
The 24,000 square foot state of the art building also has other features that are not quite ready to show off yet.
"It includes an event room which is behind us, we have administrative offices behind us. We have three galleries upstairs which will be a rotating gallery, a Jefferson Davis gallery, a confederate soldiers gallery, also a library," Hayes-Davis said.
As always the rich history of Jefferson Davis will attract visitors, but for the first time, the director believes, the present day building will also be a draw.
"This is an exquisite architecture wonder and I think people will come just to see the building. It will be what we consider a jewel on the Gulf Coast," Hayes-Davis said.
Beauvoir is closed to guests until Wednesday. By then, workers hope to have the admissions office and the gift shop ready for guests. The director hopes to open the rest of the building and have an official grand opening sometime this summer.