A New Harbor House on the Shores of Mississippi
Jul 12, 2010

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS, July 12, 2010 - Jackson County Small Craft Harbor in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, will launch construction of its new harbor office on July 13, 9 am, with a pile driving ceremony onsite at Harbor Road off Front Beach Drive. The harbor office will be built with 28 concrete pilings and an elevated, reinforced concrete slab as its foundation. Eight feet above ground level, the 3,000-square-foot building will include the harbor master's office, meeting plus reception areas, two restrooms, eletromechanical closets, and storage. This $830,000-project is paid with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recovery funds.


District 5 Supervisor John McKay remarked, "The start of this project marks one of the largest renovations in the harbor's history." North of Deer Island, inside the waters of Mississippi Sound, the county's small craft harbor is located in Ocean Springs Bayou. Managed by Jackson County Board of Supervisors, the small craft harbor provides 165 long-term boat slips to commercial and private vessels. Short-term stays for boaters are also available by rent. Also, an 800-foot boardwalk and covered pavilion at the pier's end offer residents a scenic recreational facility.


Harbor Master Lesley Hamm, who manages day-to-day operations, commented, "Construction of the new harbor office and the total replacement of the harbor's bulkhead is a major step forward in our recovery and rebuilding efforts from Hurricane Katrina."


Hurricane Katrina struck Ocean Springs on August 29, 2005, marking the worst storm surge in 300 years of recorded history. As project manager, Broaddus & Associates is assisting Jackson County in rebuilding its infrastructure. After Hurricane Katrina, the Austin, Texas-based company's founder and president Dr. James "Jim" A. Broaddus opened a branch office in Gulfport and subsequently another in Ocean Springs to help the rebuilding process. He was stationed in Gulfport during the late '70s and early '80s while serving with the Seabees, the U.S. Naval Construction Force. Alongside his family, he lived in Long Beach for several years and was involved with Hurricane Camille's recovery efforts.


For the $3.7-million Jackson County Small Craft Harbor, project management involves repair of damaged facility components plus all related items and accessories. Project components include: Marine-treated timber piles, access platforms, electrical shore boxes plus breakers, nautical lights, channel markers, bulkhead replacement, and harbor layout redesign. Broaddus & Associates is helping the owner in programming, arranging recovery funds, submitting the scope of work for agency reviews, plus overseeing design and construction of the facility. The harbor office is designed by Malcolm Pirnie, one of the largest firms in the nation to provide environmental engineering and consulting services. Seymour Engineering of Biloxi, Mississippi, will provide design services for the bulkhead.


The new harbor office is to consist of wood framing interior/exterior walls and prefabricated wooden trusses for roof support. The building exterior will be surfaced with fiber cement siding, which includes autoclaved cellulose fiber to heighten its strength and dimensional stability, and a standing seam metal roof. Impact zone 4 rated windows will be used. Made with shatterproof laminated glass, these windows are fortified to withstand flying debris. Breakaway lattice, ornamental framework, is to be installed from the exterior trim's bottom to the finished grade below. A 15-kilowatt backup generator, with an automatic transfer switch, will be utilized for operation during power outages.


The current harbor office has been relocated to an adjacent parking lot that was converted to a construction staging area. This area is for the heavy equipment and building materials. Construction is expected to be completed in a year.


Founded in 1699 under the reign of King Louis XIV, Ocean Springs has become a vibrant small town with scenic views and outdoor activities. Broaddus & Associates is working with the diligent leaders of Jackson County to build a better future for this historic town.