In 2005, the J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium was a thriving aquatic educational center on Biloxi Point. Disaster struck in August of that year, as Hurricane Katrina destroyed the entire complex, forcing the center to move to a new location in Ocean Springs.
Lake Flato Architects and Studio Outside, along with other specialists were brought together to create a unique campus experience within a pristine forested bayou environment. The design team has created a carefully sited complex of small buildings, such as exhibit space, administrative offices, kitchen facilities, conference rooms, multi-purpose classrooms, and laboratories, all nestled on the highest elevation of a preserved woodland. Parking for 30 visitors and overflow parking for large events is accommodated within the fabric of the natural environment. Upon arrival, guests are exposed to sweeping views through the trees of the surrounding bayou, and existing wetland bayhead drains, outdoor classrooms, pedestrian access to existing boat docks, and nature trails through undeveloped portions of the preserve are all part of the visitor experience.