New Laurel-Jones Co. Welcome Center to get underway

It will be located on Leontyne Price Boulevard next to the Interstate 59 exit.
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 7:35 PM CDT|Updated: May. 12, 2022 at 7:37 PM CDT
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LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - The Laurel Housing Authority has teamed up with the City of Laurel, the Jones County Board of Supervisors, the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, the Economic Development Authority of Jones County and Laurel Main Street to bring a new Welcome Center to the area.

It will be located on Leontyne Price Boulevard next to the Interstate 59 exit, and it will be situated inside one of the historic housing units spared from demolition during the current rebuilding program for newer housing units.

The structure was part of Beacon Homes, Some of the oldest examples of public housing in the state.

Due to the age of the homes, the Laurel Housing Authority was notified by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History that one of the structures was to be left intact, which could be used to benefit the public.

Ailrick Young is the LHA Executive Director and said it will help preserve one of Laurel’s most significant buildings and showcase the rich history of the area.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History gave their approval for the project.

“This project makes the Housing Authority, our staff, and our board commissioners super-excited,” Young said. “There’s a lot of excitement about the things going on in the city of Laurel and Jones County.”

“With this Welcome Center and this location and the significance of this building along with the partnership that we have, it allows us to play a part in that development,”

“Just to be involved in all the exciting things going on here in Laurel, we’re super-excited about this,” Young added.

The grounds around the new welcome center will include RV parking, an electrical charging station, a dog park and an art park.

Local architect Michael McKinnon has drawn up the plans for the LHA Housing Welcome Center, which is estimated to be around $1 million. Jones County Supervisors and the Laurel City Council each agreed to pitch in $200,000 for the project.

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