Demolition of former library set to begin

Temporary fencing has been installed around the former site of the downtown library in Biloxi, signaling that demolition of the storm-ravaged structure has begun.

“The intent is that demolition of the interior will begin this week, but you probably won’t see exterior walls coming down for a few weeks,” said Edwin Daniel of Dale & Associates, the architectural firm that is overseeing the work and also designing a new library and cultural center that will be located a few blocks away, on Howard Avenue.

Initial demolition work actually began Saturday, when contractors began removing interior lighting. A huge mural of a mermaid inside the building, as well as a Tricentennial mosaic on the western side of the building, will be saved.

The library, which sustained about three feet of water in Hurricane Katrina, was declared “functionally and economically obsolete” by engineers.

Demolition of the 30,000-square-foot building is expected to take 61 days, but contractors hope to finish the $200,000 job in about 45 days.

Online video

To take a video tour of the Katrina-ravaged library, shot shortly after the August 2005 storm, click here.