$50 Million Renovation For Hancock Bank - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

$50 Million Renovation For Hancock Bank

Katrina left no part of the Hancock Bank building untouched. The storm blew out 300 windows,  but instead of replacing just those, the bank is putting in new windows throughout the whole building to withstand stronger hurricanes. 

"So we've put in, I think, 1,600 and I think 20 new windows that are all missile impact resistant windows... similar to what you see in federal courthouses now." says Chief Operating Officer John Hairston.

A stronger roof is going on the building to protect it from tornadoes, like the one Hairston says hit the bank. 

"And irreparably damaged the electrical systems, the air conditioning systems, the life safety systems, so we've literally replaced everything in the building. If it wasn't steel and it wasn't concrete, it's brand new."

From the freshly laid stone floors to the very top of the building, Hairston says about 275 workers are putting the bank back together.

While the renovation is ongoing every day, Hairston says there have been delays because of the demand for specialized materials from Alabama to Texas - states that all sustained damage from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. 

"This is a very large building, 250,000 square feet, so the air conditioning system, the life safety system, from video surveillance to elevator controls is all very specialized customized gear."

The 15th floor was the home to the Great Southern Club and Hairston says it will be again. 

"We expect to open the club between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it'll be open for the holidays for sure."

by Marcia Hill

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