BAY ST. LOUIS — Work has begun on a wave pool and water park at Buccaneer State Park in Hancock County.
“We are very excited about beginning the final phase of our recovery projects. This will make us whole again,” Park Manager Stu Rayburn told the Sea Coast Echo.
Rayburn said that construction began in late December and the entire project is expected to be complete by the end of the year
The park was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
A large reason for Buccaneer’s popularity before Katrina was the wave pool and water park, which for a long time was the only such water park in South Mississippi.
The park was rebuilt in three phases.
The first phase included infrastructure and utility work. The second phase, which was completed in 2009, enabled Buccaneer to reopen camp sites to the public
More than 250 campsites have reopened and eight buildings including pavilions, restrooms, and offices have been completed.
“Our camping has been back for two years, but everyone keeps asking when the water park is going to reopen,” Rayburn said.
Phase three of the park’s recovery will include rebuilding the 76-acre water park
Rayburn said the amenities include the wave pool, water slide, kids splash pad, concession stands, picnic area, and camp store.
In total, the project will cost about $6 million. The first two phases cost about $14 million. The park is operated by Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.