MSU, MIT Students Unveil Designs For East Biloxi

BILOXI (WLOX) --Opening the back of the Beau Rivage to the waterfront is just one of many designs students from MSU and MIT came up with during their six month study here on the coast.

"What we're doing is coming together with ideas to see where Biloxi can go in terms of future development with the new hurricane flood height regulations," said Travis Altsman.

Altsman is a fourth year architecture student at MSU. He was just beginning his studies when Katrina battered his family's home in Diamondhead.

"I feel really blessed to be able to come back here as part of my curriculum and help out the communities I sort of grew up in," Altsman said.

Students from the two schools came up with a lot of suggestions for East Biloxi, a low-lying area, facing many challenges during the rebuilding process.

"One of the things my team focused on was the bayous that go into the Biloxi landscape. We said what can we do to make that more of an amenity as opposed to say a drainage ditch, where people tend to litter, and not really take care of it, but really can be seen as waterfront property," Altsman said.

MIT graduate student Molly Mowery says so far, residents in the area have been very supportive of their ideas. She's glad they got to team up with students like Travis Altsman on this project.

"Typically what MIT does is that we are pretty lucky that we get to go on trips, but the trips ares structured around different communities within the US or outside, and so this happened to be an opportunity to work directly with the community, where we felt like we could have more impact," Mowery said.