Pass Christian City Hall Returning To Waterfront - - The News for South Mississippi

Pass Christian City Hall Returning To Waterfront

PASS CHRISTIAN (WLOX) -- "That's a sad day right there, I can tell you that.  It's a reminder of where we've been almost the last three years now," said Pass Christian Mayor Chip McDermott.

The concrete slab and broken steps are the remains of the old Pass Christian City Hall. Those reminders of Katrina's rage will soon disappear. In September, a new city hall will go up, just slightly west of its former site on Scenic Drive.

"We're going to have an administrative building here with everything under one roof," said Mayor McDermott. "This time, it will include water and a code office, which we didn't have before."

The building will be modeled after an older city hall -- the one gutted by Hurricane Camille.

"We took the facade off the city hall that was built in 1926, and we're going to put that on the building here, which was really a beautiful architectural design," said Mayor McDermott.

Next to city hall will be another building that will house city court and be used for city meetings. Behind it will be a new library. All three buildings will be about 24,000 square feet. What a change for city employees, who've been working out of trailers behind War Memorial Park since Katrina struck.

"I feel like we're going from the outhouse to the penthouse, that's what we feel like," said the mayor.

The city has plenty of land to accommodate the huge project, thanks to a Pass Christian man. Dayton Robinson borrowed money to buy two lots next door, so he can donate the land to the city.

"I didn't want to see the city get off this beach," said Robinson. "I think we make a statement by saying we're coming back right where we were. The first thing I look forward to is when I can sign this property over to the city and they can get started."

And the mayor looks forward to enjoying the beautiful waterfront view once again.

"Overlook the water, overlook the harbor, overlook everything that goes on out there," said Mayor McDermott. "We have a sense of freedom right there, and that's prime location there. Scenic Drive is what separates Pass Christian from other communities. So we're going right back home, where we ought to be."

All three buildings will be built at the same time and should take about a year to complete. The entire project will cost about $6 million. It's being funded by a Community Development Block Grant, insurance, and FEMA.

By Trang Pham-Bui

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