Gulfport arts center breaks ground

Published 5:40 pm Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A groundbreaking ceremony was to be held Monday for a $3.2 million performing arts center.

The WINGS Performing Arts and Education Center for Youth is an extension of Lynn Meadows Discovery Center in Gulfport.

The two-story, nearly 15,000-square-foot center is expected to be mostly complete by summer 2008.

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Money for the project, which has been under way since December 2002, has been raised through several events hosted by Emeril Lagasse and a $1 million matching grant from the state. Additional funding is expected from a Mississippi Arts Commission grant.

The new building will be located in front of the existing gymnasium and adjacent to the museum and will connect with each.

The first floor will have a lobby, ticket office and a demonstration kitchen with equipment donated by Viking Range.

The second floor will be where children learn performing arts, said Kathryn Shanks, LMDC interim director.

The building will also have classrooms, a costume shop, an audio/visual control room, dressing rooms and storage areas.