Visitors Center aims for Memorial Day opening

The city hopes to open the Lighthouse Park and Visitors Center in time for Memorial Day, the traditional kickoff of summer.

The announcement was made today while Mayor A.J. Holloway and architect Leigh Jaunsen of the firm Dale & Associates gave local media a tour of the $13 million facility, which has reached the midway point of construction.

“The goal we’re shooting for is to have it open in time for Memorial Day 2011,” Historical Administrator Bill Raymond said of the 24,000 square-foot, two-story center immediately north of the Biloxi Lighthouse.

The center will feature nine multi-media exhibits, a theater able to accommodate about 60 people, and space for private parties and other gatherings.

“This will be a real showplace,” Holloway said. “It’s a facility that will pay homage to our past, and tell visitors about the many opportunities that Biloxi offers today. This center will tell the world who we are, and it’s a place that we make us all proud.”

To see nearly 150 photos from today’s tour, click here.

See even more photos, background online

—To see an artist’s rendering of the visitors center and to see early construction photos, click here.

—For details on two of the city’s major rebuilding projects — the downtown library and civic center, and Lighthouse Park and Visitors Center, click here.

—To learn more about the exhibits planned for the visitors center in Biloxi, click here. (File size is 7 MB.)

—Work is now underway on a short documentary, “We are Biloxi,” that will be shown in the center’s theater. For an idea of the quality of the work being created by Steve Harding Design Group, see a seven-minute documentary created for Rice University. Click here.