Pascagoula needs funding to finish lighthouse facelift

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - Pascagoula officials are calling on the community to help them rebuild the Round Island Lighthouse project. Contractors have restored about 70 percent of the historic Lighthouse. Now, extra funding is needed to finish the facelift.

Standing tall at its new home on Pascagoula soil, contractors are breathing new life into the historic structure.

"The lighthouse was moved from Round Island to Pascagoula in 2010," Public and Employee Relations Specialist Robin Wood said.

Before finding a new home onshore, several storms gave the structure a good beating.

"Only 10 percent of the structure remained after the storm," Contractor Stephen Fletcher said.

More than $1 million has been spent on preserving history, including the installation of the lantern gallery. Contractors are now focusing on the exterior.

"We finished the brickwork. The only thing remaining are the doors and windows," said Fletcher.

Wood said a lot has already been invested into the project, but still more funding is needed to finish it.

"We still need about $200,000 and that is going to be to complete the interior of the lighthouse. That will also include a spiral staircase, just like it was when it was on Round Island," Wood said.

The city has started applying for grants, but community assistance would also be a big help.

"There are bricks that can be sponsored; there are pavers and stairs on the inside of the lighthouse as well. You can have your name on them."

City officials hope the donations will start to roll in soon to complete the work and get this lighthouse open for visitors and locals to enjoy.

"Most people in this community have ties to Round Island Lighthouse. They have memories as children of walking on the beach, so we all can relate to the lighthouse. It is important for us to preserve it."

If you're interested in donating, call the Pascagoula Community Development Office at (228) 938-6639.

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