Natatorium to close for five-month overhaul

When the Biloxi Natatorium closes at the end of the day Saturday, Dec. 22, it won’t re-open until five months later, giving city contractors time to give the facility a $1.23 million overhaul.

The work, which is being funded mostly by FEMA, will include installing a new retractable roof, a new bottom for the Olympic-sized swimming pool, a new heating system, new wall panels, exterior steel handrails, and a fresh coat of paint.

“The new roof system for the Natatorium results from storm damage,” said Parks and Recreation Director Nathan Sullivan, “but having the pool closed also allows us to do other needed work.”

In 2004, the Natatorium averaged 225 visitors a day. The facility has hosted swimming lessons for infants, children and adults; lifeguard courses; local and state swim meets, and Special Olympics activities. The center also provided a training ground for dive teams from the Biloxi Police Department and Keesler Air Force Base, and it regularly hosts birthday parties and other gatherings.

Until the Natatorium re-opens in May, residents and visitors will be encouraged to use the pool at the Donal M. Snyder Center on Pass Road in west Biloxi. The pool is open six days a week, and its daily swim schedule may be expanded if conditions warrant.

In addition to structural repairs, the Natatorium will receive new lane ropes and lifeguard stands, and outdoor patio fencing and broken tiles throughout the building will be replaced.

“I’m really looking forward to the renovations,” said Jamie Lee, the city’s Aquatics Specialist. “This facility is used by many and has been around for over 20 years. When we re-open, I feel that everyone will be pleased with the pool’s new look.”

Biloxi Natatorium was originally built as an outdoor pool in the early 1980s and was enclosed in 1988, allowing the facility to be open year ’round.

For more info call the Biloxi Natatorium at 228-435-6205 or email