OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Old is being made new again in Ocean Springs. A century old building is getting some updates, and they're happening thanks to the help of some coast military personnel.
If you drive through downtown Ocean Springs you can't miss the historic train depot. It now houses the Chamber of Commerce and a gift shop. The building is more than 100 years old. That age brings historic value, but also a few issues like rot and decay, and outdated accommodations.
The city is working to fix the building up with the help of Seabees from Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 27. These men and women are building a brand new handicap ramp and replacing rotted boards all around the building.
Lieutenant Matt Catanese says this volunteer work just furthers the relationship between the city and the Seabee base.
"We're not just stationed here. Our families live here as well. We're part of the Harrison, Hancock, or Jackson County areas. So, we like to get out and let them know that we're not just here because we have to be, because the government says so. It's because we like to be a part of the Mississippi Gulf Coast as well and do our part," said Catanese.
Cynthia Sutton, executive director of the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce, said the project is a way to bring the community together while making much needed repairs to an important city fixture.
"We are definitely delighted to have the Seabees here. It just is a great partnership and it shows community involvement. Without them we probably couldn't do as much as we'd like to do," said Sutton.
According to Catanese, this week is in between busy times for the Seabees and it's a great way for them to help enrich their neighboring communities. The Seabees will continue to work on the depot for the remainder of the week.