New slides, games, location for Biloxi attraction

COURTESY BILOXI SCHOOLSThis is a rendering of the soon-to-be-built Biloxi Junior High School.
COURTESY BILOXI SCHOOLSThis is a rendering of the soon-to-be-built Biloxi Junior High School.

A new location for the water slides and other inflatables at Big Play Family Fun Center in Biloxi will provide more space for a slip-and-slide water feature and other seasonal attractions.

The Biloxi Development Review Committee on Wednesday heard plans for moving the warm-weather attractions to the beach side, south of U.S. 90 and east of Veterans Avenue.

A 12-lane bowling alley and 70-game arcade are under construction south of the Big Play miniature golf courses. Brandon Wooldridge, co-owner and general manager of Big Play, said he anticipates a midsummer opening of the bowling lanes.

The summer water park will open Memorial Day weekend and provide beach chair, umbrella and paddleboat rentals.

The popular inflatable water slides from last summer will return and the additional space will accommodate a 60-foot slip-and-slide and jumbo bounce houses, he said. In Downpour Derby, players pump water into a bucket and the slower player gets drenched.

Wooldridge said a fence will be installed as a safety measure for kids. The Big Play snowball stand will return and an ice vending machine added.

The DRC also saw plans for the new Biloxi Junior High School that will be built on Jam Lane, next to the high school.

It is designed to house 1,200 to 1,300 students. Les Seymour with Machado Patano engineering and design firm said, "There's some room for growth."

Similar to the high school, the junior high will have an academic wing and an activity wing, with a large courtyard in the center, he said. It is being built to create more room at the elementary schools and will house seventh- and eighth-graders. The fifth- and sixth-graders will attend classes in the existing junior high.

Crews are preparing the site and construction must begin soon to meet the school district's timetable.

"The school is to be open August 2017," Seymour said.

It's been a busy few weeks for Biloxi development, Jerry Creel, Biloxi's community development director, said in his weekly report. Sunday's announcement that the former Casino Magic will become Margaritaville Resort Biloxi, with a grand opening scheduled for late spring, followed approval last week of site plans for the Patio 44 Restaurant at Main and Water Streets. The DRC also approved the site plan for a new Dollar General store on Old Highway 67, west of Hudson Krohn in Woolmarket, and plans were submitted for a Buckle Store in Edgewater Mall, he said. The national retail store sells designer jeans, clothing and shoes.