PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - It's called the get on board initiative, a $4.75 million fund raising campaign to build the Mississippi Maritime Museum in the annex of the old Pascagoula High School.
It began Tuesday morning at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown. The movers and shakers in attendance came to hear about the dream and the vision for the museum. The project's director, Gary Lightfoot, explained what's happening right now.
"If we stay on schedule, we should be ready in April or May, and that's the beginning. This first meeting is the campaign leadership council and leaders of the community to inform them of where we are and the initiative," Lightfoot said.
It's going to mean a lot for education once the museum is up and running, but it's also going to mean a lot for tourism, according to Gautier Councilwoman Mary Martin.
"This would be more than a welcome center for tourists coming through. I would also think that more in the summertime, when there are more children out of school across the country, this would be so good for our young students," Martin said.
Major corporations, live Chevron, are on board as well for one simple reason. Alan Sudduth works there.
"Its economic development component as well. It enhances the quality of life here in the area. So, for all those reasons, we think it's a very worthwhile project, and we're getting on board for it, explained Alan Sudduth, with Chevron.
Now, the whole project begins with donation request letters sent to mailboxes across Jackson County called "pave the way." Again, the lofty goal is $ 4.75 million over the next five years. Officials with the museum hope to have construction underway by sometime late this year.
About 50 community leaders were present for the kick-off breakfast.