Harrison Co. supervisors updated on new libraries, other projects

By Steve Phillips - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Harrison County supervisors received an update Monday on several major construction projects. They include a new parking garage, courthouse annex and two new libraries.

The architect overseeing the proposed new buildings gave supervisors a timeline for when the work will be bid.

Anyone who's struggled to find a parking space at the courthouse in Gulfport will be pleased with this project: A 200 space parking garage just north of the courthouse.

"We got the grant application for that approved, the first of three grants. We expect to be able to put that out to bid in the next four to six weeks," said architect Taylor Guild.

The structure may include a clock tower for aesthetics and is designed to meet smart code.

"It'll be a nice structure, tie in with that area and try to follow principles of smart code and hopefully stay within that three point four million dollar budget," Guild told supervisors.

The county courthouse in Biloxi is getting a new annex building. It will be built in the area that now contains the aging justice court building.

"Our plan is to build the new building where the parking is now and then tear it down and make parking there," said Guild.

The 7,000 square foot building will go out for bids in about eight weeks.

While the controversy continues over the fate of the damaged Gulfport library downtown, the county is moving ahead with building two new libraries.

One will be a 10,000 square foot branch library near the courthouse. The other will be a much larger headquarters library built on property in Orange Grove.

"We just recently have shifted the building to run east and west and put it on the north side of the property so that it will overlook trees on the site there," Guild explained.

"Again, it's a FEMA relocation project. And it's our intention FEMA should fund it up to 100 percent. FEMA should. If it's a relocation, they will fund the square footage," he said.

Guild says the headquarters library won't likely be bid for several more months.