Plans being Drawn Up Now for Biloxi Saenger Restoration

From:  City of Biloxi   8/11/17   GCN

The city has made an issue of restoring downtown Biloxi, including re-introducing two-way traffic to Howard Avenue, and at the same time plans are in the works to restore one of the anchors of downtown Biloxi, the Saenger Theater.

The theater attracts between 20,000 and 30,000 people annually to events, primarily youth dance performances, but Mayor Andrew ‘FoFo” Gilich believes restoring the 1920s-era showplace will broaden its appeal to more events and bigger audiences.

As a result, the city’s 2018 budget proposal includes nearly $600,000 for Saenger exterior work, with plans to seek federal and state grants.

“The comprehensive analysis and design work of the needed repairs on the Saenger should be complete by Dale Partners by the end of the year,” said Chief Administrative Officer Mike Leonard. 

 “Once that is done, we will take bids for the exterior work around the beginning of next year.”

The work in Phase 1 will include the replacement of the roof and rooftop air-conditioning units, and repairs to the entrance awning.  The exterior brick will also be waterproofed to reduce the chance of moisture seeping into the interior walls.

Once the exterior work is complete, interior issues will be addressed.

The mayor has made it clear that restoring the Saenger is part of his downtown revitalization plan to re-introduce two-way traffic to nearby Howard Avenue and breathe new life into the downtown area.
Gilich actually held the 2017 city inauguration at the city-owned theater to draw attention to the challenges of the downtown restoration efforts. The walls of the 943-seat theater were pocked-marked where rainwater intrusion had dislodged plaster.

See video of the Saenger
See more about the Saenger Theater