Busy Year Ahead For Building Libraries

"We lost four libraries, about 160,000 volumes and over 100 computers. So, this is going to be a process," said Harrison County Library system director Robert Lipscomb.

But the process is moving along now. One significant part of that process involves a tree lined, five acre site on Old Highway 49 at the entrance of Kenwood subdivision.

The county-owed location will be the site for the system's new headquarters and Orange Grove Library.

"I think it's a very good location. Logistically it's close to I-10. That's where we process everything for all the libraries in the system. It's obviously more protected from water than it was previously," says the director.

The old headquarters was not so lucky. But even though Katrina's winds and water ripped the building apart, it is still being considered for future use as a library.

The former library headquarters, located along the waterfront in Gulfport, could still be chosen as the site to build the new downtown Gulfport library. But, the director says, there are other downtown sites that could be considered.

"I'd like to be near 49 if possible. Perhaps where the old Rieman funeral home was. I understand the county owns that property. So, you know, something like that would be fine," said Lipscomb.

A temporary trailer now houses the downtown Biloxi library. But the city is moving forward with plans to build a new library and community center.

"On that property where the trailer is now, we're going to build a 64,000 square foot combination community center, plus the library. And the library will be at least 21,000 square feet," said Mayor A.J. Holloway.

The mayor says that project should move forward later this year.

"Hope to get ground broken before the end of the year," says Mayor Holloway.

A new library will also be built in Pass Christian, at the same location as the old facility. Ground breaking for the new Pass library should take place sometime this fall.