Boys & Girls Club breaks ground at new East Biloxi home
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The Boys & Girls Club of East Biloxi now has its very own home. After being displaced 16 years ago after Hurricane Katrina, club members and city leaders held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday to celebrate.
“One of the biggest areas and one of the biggest needs is right here in the Hope 6 area,” said Councilman Felix Gines. “When this site became available, we ran to the mayor and said, ‘mayor we need that building.’”
What now is an empty building with dangling insulation will soon be a fully renovated location to better serve the children in east Biloxi. After Hurricane Katrina, the club was placed at the Mercy Cross High School Gym. After nearly two years of searching, the club has 20,000 of its own square feet.
“So we partnered with the city of Biloxi, and Mayor FoFo has just been so excellent in working with us to find a building,” said Keva Scott. “When he said we looked at every empty building in East Biloxi, we looked at every empty building in East Biloxi. Then we found this building and knew it was the right building.”
Gulf Coast Boys & Girls Club CEO Keva Scott and Mayor Gilich said the club’s new home sits in the heart of the city, right behind Nichols Elementary School.
“It originated on the bay but it has always been a place that is comfortable, educational, opportunity-driven kind of organization,” Gilich said. “Couldn’t be in a better place. Everybody is within walking distance.”
With more than 20 rooms to utilize, Scott believes it’s more than enough space to meet their needs.
“It’s big enough to serve all of our purposes, so there’s going to be a lot that goes on in here. We have STEM and we will have a music production studio. We will have an entrepreneur center and a vocational workshop that will be on the teen side, and obviously, the stuff that the Boys & Girls Club is known for,” Scott said.
Scott said renovations will cost $3 million and take about a year to complete. Club members hope to officially move in by summer 2022.
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