Mayor excited about progress of Gulfport aquarium - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Mayor excited about progress of Gulfport aquarium

Site preparation work for the aquarium is well underway. (Photo source: WLOX) Site preparation work for the aquarium is well underway. (Photo source: WLOX)
Hewes said a formal groundbreaking ceremony will likely take place in early April. (Photo source: WLOX) Hewes said a formal groundbreaking ceremony will likely take place in early April. (Photo source: WLOX)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes is excited about progress on the $93 million project now underway downtown.      

“It's going to be a real focal point for the entire Gulf Coast,” said Hewes. “A lot of folks said, 'Is it going to be real?' Yes, it's going to be real. It's going to be huge and it will be transformational,” the mayor told the group.

As Mayor Hewes touted the aquarium project, work crews kept busy with initial ground work at the downtown site. Fences are going up and ground is being prepared for the campus-style attraction.

“We're anticipating about 300,000 visitors a year just to the aquarium. So for the immediate area, it's huge. For that niche that we've been talking about, needing more family oriented activities, this really fills a gap there,” said Hewes.

Contractor W.C. "Cotton" Fore won the first contract on the project. The first phase includes demolition, plenty of dirt hauling, and drainage work.

“After we get through with this moving all this dirt in, and shaping it up, then it will settle for a little bit, then we'll start the construction. We're working on putting together the construction package for bids,” said Mayor Hewes.

The mayor expects to schedule a formal ground breaking for early April. The aquarium is set to open in early 2019. Hewes is hopeful everyone will get excited as they watch the progress at the downtown location.

“Downtown, that area is already starting to change with taking down some of the buildings and bringing some dirt in. So, just stay tuned,” urged the mayor.

David Kimmel's consultant group was hired by the city to oversee development of the aquarium project.  Kimmel is the former president of the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

Copyright 2017 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Biloxi Schools' former police chief admits to embezzlement

    Biloxi Schools' former police chief admits to embezzlement

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 11:24 AM EDT2018-08-21 15:24:31 GMT
    The Biloxi School District's former Police Chief Paul Cannette pleaded guilty to embezzlement Tuesday morning. (Photo source: WLOX)The Biloxi School District's former Police Chief Paul Cannette pleaded guilty to embezzlement Tuesday morning. (Photo source: WLOX)

    The Biloxi School District's former Police Chief Paul Cannette pleaded guilty to embezzlement Tuesday morning. 

    More >>

    The Biloxi School District's former Police Chief Paul Cannette pleaded guilty to embezzlement Tuesday morning. 

    More >>
  • Pascagoula church gets students thinking about future with career fair

    Pascagoula church gets students thinking about future with career fair

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 7:18 AM EDT2018-08-21 11:18:13 GMT
    The career fair gave students a chance to talk to people in dozens of different career paths (Source: WLOX)The career fair gave students a chance to talk to people in dozens of different career paths (Source: WLOX)
    The career fair gave students a chance to talk to people in dozens of different career paths (Source: WLOX)The career fair gave students a chance to talk to people in dozens of different career paths (Source: WLOX)

    Union Baptist Church hosted its first career fair Monday to help students answer the question: what do you want to be when you grow up?

    More >>

    Union Baptist Church hosted its first career fair Monday to help students answer the question: what do you want to be when you grow up?

    More >>
  • Living shoreline project could shore up Front Beach in Ocean Springs

    Living shoreline project could shore up Front Beach in Ocean Springs

    Tuesday, August 21 2018 6:54 AM EDT2018-08-21 10:54:06 GMT
    In many areas of Front Beach in Ocean Springs, the sand is almost gone, blown away by gusty winds and choppy seas. (Photo source: WLOX)In many areas of Front Beach in Ocean Springs, the sand is almost gone, blown away by gusty winds and choppy seas. (Photo source: WLOX)
    In many areas of Front Beach in Ocean Springs, the sand is almost gone, blown away by gusty winds and choppy seas. (Photo source: WLOX)In many areas of Front Beach in Ocean Springs, the sand is almost gone, blown away by gusty winds and choppy seas. (Photo source: WLOX)

    In many areas of Front Beach in Ocean Springs, the sand is almost gone, blown away by gusty winds and choppy seas. But with the help of a $150,000 state tidelands grant, the city is hoping a program called "The Living Shoreline" will provide a permanent solution.

    More >>

    In many areas of Front Beach in Ocean Springs, the sand is almost gone, blown away by gusty winds and choppy seas. But with the help of a $150,000 state tidelands grant, the city is hoping a program called "The Living Shoreline" will provide a permanent solution.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly