Dr. Scott Alsobrooks
The Picayune Item
PICAYUNE — There is a bit of a renaissance occurring in Pearl River County. This is happening one building at a time. It seems to be happening rather quietly, but the end results are going to help shape the future of the county and the cities located here. In Picayune, the Pearl River County Administration Building on Goodyear Boulevard first comes to mind. This building, which has been in operation for a few years now, replaced an outdated factory that once stood on the site. The new Highland Community Hospital located on Hwy 11 North is a dramatic improvement to the facility that it replaced. The newest addition within the Picayune city limits is the City Hall expansion which will complement the historical City Hall facility. Of special note concerning the City Hall expansion is that this $2 million investment has no long term financing to drag down the local taxpayers for years to come. Poplarville is also benefitting from the construction of new facilities, especially on the Pearl River Community College campus. The Ethel Holden Brownstone Center for the Performing Arts will open within the next few months. This center will provide an outstanding venue for musical, theatrical and other performances. Also, under construction is the M.R. White Coliseum, which will replace the coliseum of the same name that was heavily damage during Hurricane Katrina. This facility will provide a place for basketball and other sporting events, as well as large events such as PRCC’s graduation ceremonies. Also, several residential dormitories and instructional buildings have been constructed, or remodeled on campus in the past several years. Hopefully, next on the priority list, from a community perspective will be to remodel the Pearl River County Courthouse, which is in dire need of updating. The impact of these large construction projects goes way beyond the typical measures, such as the number of construction jobs provided and the business impact to local suppliers of materials. These new facilities build pride and commitment into the community. When industry prospects come to our county from other states or countries, having architecturally appealing buildings with modern features will only improve our chances of competing for their business. The cultivation of our community will ultimately maximize local job growth.