Senator Thad Cochran Tours Progress Being Made At Gulfport Coast Guard Facility

GULFPORT (WLOX) -- Construction of the new Coast Guard station is still underway, but Senator Thad Cochran, says, so far, so good.

"I was glad to see the progress being made and visit with the officials here at this facility. I think they do a great job, and I think they are doing an excellent job of bringing this back to life and keeping it with the same mission and even expanded responsibility in some respects before Katrina," Senator Cochran said.

The new facility will be 26,000 square feet, and will be built at its old site near the Port of Gulfport. Senator Cochran says he and others are pleased the Coast Guard station is being rebuilt at the same location.

"It was feasible and economically justifiable, so it meets all those tests as well," Senator Cochran said.

The total cost of the building tallies in at 17 million dollars, but Senator Cochran believes it's a good investment for everyone involved.

"They add to the economy. They add to the sense of security here. They give us a feeling of contributing to national defense through their efforts of doing the job they're responsible for doing," Senator Cochran said.

The new Coast Guard station is being built back stronger and taller, thanks to lessons learned from Katrina.

"What you see behind us is a building that is designed to the standards of FEMA, elevation for flood plane, nearly 25 feet above the sea level, so if there's a similar storm surge like in Katrina, we can take that and still not affect the occupied floors," said Lt. Commander John Barresi.

Coast Guard members will continue working out of modular trailers at the site until the new station is completed.