- Associated Press - Thursday, August 27, 2015

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) - State officials have broken ground on a $16.2 million construction project to build the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Marine Education Center.

The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1U6OMIw ) the teaching site received funding from an $11.2 million Federal Emergency Management Agency grant and $5 million from the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

It is expected to be completed in 18 to 20 months.

The center replaces the J.L. Scott Center which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Gov. Phil Bryant, who attended Wednesday’s groundbreaking, says the new facility is a reflection of Mississippi’s dedication to better understanding our waters. He says future generations will use the technology to help build the seafood industry.

University of Southern Mississippi President Rodney Bennett applauded supporters and officials for coming together to celebrate the achievement.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

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