BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A demolition project is bringing change to historic downtown Biloxi. The group Women In Construction is helping city work crews remove decades-old brick planters in the Vieux Marche.
These female students have experienced how to build; But this city project is all about tearing things down.
"We're using sledge hammers and shovels. We have our students out here with the Women In Construction program helping out. And our students are coming out to get some job training or to get better paying jobs. So it's a win-win for the community," said Julie Kuklinski, with the program.
Christina Mayers admits this demolition stuff is actually kinda fun. After all, how often do you get to tear something down?
"It's just awesome to have these different tools we're working here with. As you can see, we have women doing sledge hammers and working with ice picks and all that. It's just awesome," she said.
This is one of many makeovers the historic Vieux Marche has undergone. Biloxi's Main Street director says it was time for some change.
"Get rid of some of the 70s urban renewal and just open up our sight lines for downtown and just make way for new and better ways to come," said Kay Miller-Carter.
Women In Construction saw an opportunity to be a community partner and teach students some new skills.
"I enjoy it too. I've always enjoyed construction. I took carpentry during high school and stuff like that. So I thought it was a really cool opportunity," said student Patty Dwyer.
Along with the aesthetic change this demolition project will produce, it will also provide an opportunity to change the traffic pattern.
"The actual goal is to make the one way street a two way street. Because the traffic is horrible here," said student Mimi Strickland.
The hope is that these changes will also benefit the ongoing marketing efforts for this historic downtown.
Another remnant of the 1970s urban renewal in the Vieux Marche was removed years ago when the city took down metal canopies that covered much of the area.