The current community center at MLK Park on Herlihy Street is “full of mold and rotting,” Waveland Mayor Mike Smith. Construction of a new community center is scheduled to begin in mid-June.

The Waveland Board of Mayor and Aldermen during a special meeting on Friday approved a grant agreement with MDA, which will allow for the construction of a new community center at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park on Herlihy Street to move forward.

The 1,200-square-feet community center will house a concession stand, outdoor and indoor restrooms, and a community kitchen, Waveland City Clerk Mickey Lagasse said Friday.

The original estimated cost for the project was about $333,000. However, the bids came in over the original estimate.

At the end of last year, Mayor Mike Smith, Lagasse, and Alderman Bobby Richardson went to Jackson to ask MDA for the additional funding.

At the Jan. 16 meeting, the board announced that MDA had agreed to fund the rest of the rest of the projects, in the amount of $269,708.

Since the additional funding is coming from a different account, the board had to go through the approval process once again, Lagasse said.

The board on Friday also named David Rush Construction, LLC as "most responsive, lowest, and best bidder in the amount of $488,000 as recommended by Compton Engineering."

Lagasse said that a pre-construction meeting will be held in about two weeks. He said he expects the contractor to break ground on the project about mid-June.

"Rather than hold up this project any longer, I called this special meeting to get the board's approval," Smith said. "Right now, the current community center is full of mold and rotting."

The grant funding will also cover the cost of new playground equipment, Smith said. The new community center will also be available for rental.

"This is about bringing more people back to MLK Park," Smith said. "It will be a safer and nicer place to have events. That's what I'm most excited about."

Smith added that the contractor has up to a year to complete the project, but that it shouldn't take that long.

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