Waveland's Vision On The Drawing Board - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Waveland's Vision On The Drawing Board

Danny McManus may be the only Waveland citizen with a poolside FEMA trailer. Hurricane Katrina washed away McManus's Nicholson Avenue home.  But no hurricane is getting the best of this 68-year-old. 

"We're doing it and I wish other people would as well. It's the insurance companies that's holding everyone up," McManus says.

McManus is excited to see building finally underway in a city where FEMA trailers and slabs dot just about every neighborhood. 

"I just don't want to see condos on the beach. I want to see it like it was once. It was a retirement community, everybody knew everyone else."

Connecticut architect Robert Orr has heard about the small town hospitality for months. He's the lead designer of Waveland's future. 

"It's a real beach town and we don't want it to be New Orleans, we don't want it to be Gulfport. It's Waveland. So our job is to try to understand that and bring that out the way people tell us in the memories," Orr says.

Lili Stahler has lots of fond memories of the city where she spent childhood summers in her family's old home. 

"I hope that it comes back in its little laid back way where it's a comfortable city."

Coming back is the common theme heard everywhere in the city. Neighbors say sheer determination is a driving force in helping Waveland regain the small town charm that drew so many people here before the hurricane and what keeps them here now.

"We want to maintain our small town atmosphere. We want to make a walkable community. People want sidewalks in areas where there's traffic and it would be safer to walk on sidewalks," says Kathy Pinn.

All of those characteristics are what makes Waveland home to so many who lost so much but who are not giving up on their way of life.

Tuesday afternoon at 1pm there will be public sessions to discuss the charrette ideas. A final presentation will be made Wednesday night at 7pm. The sessions are at Bay Middle School on Pine Street in Bay St. Louis.

by Marcia Hill

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