Located at 135 Pine Street, the O'Hanlon Recreation Center was built in the 1980s as a pre-engineered steel-frame structure. The center, owned by the city of Biloxi, offered residents on the east end of the city a place for activities. |
As Hurricane Katrina drew closer and the chance of Biloxi becoming a direct hit grew greater, employees secured the center, as well as the equipment and furniture inside. After the storm, the city of Biloxi relied on loyal employees to return to work to help with the recovery.
"When I came back to work, I was amazed by the devastation. Buildings that provided kids with a place to go and things to do to keep them off the streets were gone," said Shawn Kuhn of the Parks and Recreation Department. "The O'Hanlon building was one of the main facilities the Parks and Recreation Department had."
The center sustained massive damage from the storm surge and winds. The walls were completely blown out. The building has now been demolished.
The O'Hanlon Recreation Center was open six days a week to the public. It included a basketball court and a weight room. Daily activities conducted in the center were basketball, pool, ping-pong and table tennis.
Other activities included arts and crafts, monthly birthday parties, holiday parties, summer camp and the youth basketball league.
- CECILIA DOBBS