Pascagoula Maritime Museum is about to set sail - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Pascagoula Maritime Museum is about to set sail

The foundation has been working the last several months to make the Mississippi Maritime Museum a reality. (Photo source: WLOX) The foundation has been working the last several months to make the Mississippi Maritime Museum a reality. (Photo source: WLOX)
Contracts were signed by The Mississippi Maritime Museum Foundation and Fletcher Construction today. (Photo source: WLOX) Contracts were signed by The Mississippi Maritime Museum Foundation and Fletcher Construction today. (Photo source: WLOX)
PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

With the stroke of two pens, the deal is sealed. The Mississippi Maritime Museum is now a reality. Renovations will soon begin on the smaller of two former Pascagoula High School buildings that make up the complex. It’s 7,000-square-feet at a cost of more than $500,000 that will involve a lot of work.

Hank Torjusen is the contractor with Fletcher Construction. 

“We’re gutting the existing building, adding new walls, ceilings, flooring and a nice presentation for them. It will be a nice building,” said Torjusen.

Museum board members have worked on this for years. One of them is Robert Smith. 

“The actual excitement was when we were actually letting the job out for bid. We realized this was really going to happen,” Smith recalled.

When this first phase is complete, the maritime activity center by the end of this year, officials with the maritime museum board of directors hope this entire complex will become a major draw.  That’s according to Dr. Jack Hoover. 

“People will come here. It will be on what we call the tourist trail. You've got Mobile, Pensacola and New Orleans. They all have museums, and we're going to be right in the middle of that trail,” Hoover explained.

This complex will be much more than a museum, to Hoover. 

“Particularly to educate our youth about the aspects in maritime occupations, boat building and marine engineering and everything else,” said Hoover.

That everything else includes a look back on the past for Smith and others. 

“This is a great opportunity to develop our community and spread out the opportunity for the community to have a place to join together and celebrate the maritime history of Pascagoula,” said Smith.

Celebrate is exactly the right word.

The renovation of the smaller building should take about four months, and the maritime activity center is expected to open in December. 

Money is still being raised to begin renovations on the larger building that will house the actual museum.

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