Community center construction set to begin

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Progress is being made to rebuild the Orange Grove Community Center.

Tuesday, Gulfport Council approved a resolution that would allow construction to begin at the Highway 49 property.

It's been more than a year since fire destroyed the Orange Grove Community Center. Today the building sits empty, weather beaten and charred. But city leaders say it won't be long before the building is replaced with an much needed, much improved community center.

"It served not only Gulfport but also Harrison County and it was one of our money makers which utilized so much that we actually made money off of the structure," said ward seven councilwoman Barbara Nalley.

An electrical fire heavily damaged the building in July of 2007, leaving many Harrison County residents without sufficient meeting space.

"I've had to have meetings in my home, I've had to utilize the Pepsi Plant because there's not another meeting structure in the area," Nalley said.

In just days demolition will begin to tear down the current building and a brand new center will go in its place.

"It will be basically what it was except we've been able to redesign the interior to have more private rooms for smaller meeting space," said Nalley.

Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr agrees.

"It's time to move this thing forward and we're excited about it," said Warr.