HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The youth of the Lakeshore and Bayside Park communities are about to get something back Hurricane Katrina took away. The Bayside Lakeshore Recreation Complex going up on Lower Bay Road is just days away from completion.
By the end of next week, all of the turf should be laid down on the new football and baseball fields inside of the recreation complex. The concession stand, bleachers, dug-outs and the over head lighting is already finished.
"This is basically replacing what we had before Katrina. Here it is nearly eight years after Katrina, and the children of this area have not had a ball field to play on," said Hancock County District One Supervisor David Yarborough.
The storm damaged recreation complex that served the youth of this community before Katrina had to be demolished to make way for South Hancock Elementary. The new sports facility comes with something extra: a community center.
Yarborough said, "The community center is there for anybody as well, wedding receptions, parties whatever you may need it for, you just call and book it."
Annette Moran of Lakeshore echoed his words.
"It's really a nice multi purpose building with a nice kitchen and nice stage."
Moran lives right across the street from the new recreation complex. She says her grand kids can't wait to play ball there.
"We're glad to see it, very excited about it. It will be something all the kids in the community can use."
"We needed it, that's for sure. We only had one football field in the county for the longest time," said Rickey Gandy.
Gandy has been involved in little league football for nearly 20 years. He says there are big plans for the new complex.
"To try to start up a men's softball league, if not a multi gender, there. Plus we're going to try to do some kickball out here for the kids."
Yarborough said, "Hopefully this complex will serve the community for many, many years."
With the new community center, the total price tag for the recreation facility is $2.5 million. A community development block grant from the Mississippi Development Authority funded the project.