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Features Campus revamped: the construction continues

Campus revamped: the construction continues

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Two of the three new residence halls in the Century Park South complex are now open and home to approximately 500 students. The third hall will contain a new student health clinic that will open for the spring semester of January 2015. | Jessica King/ Printz Photographer
Two of the three new residence halls in the Century Park South complex are now open and home to approximately 500 students. The third hall will contain a new student health clinic that will open for the spring semester of January 2015. | Jessica King/ Printz Photographer

The University of Southern Mississippi’s campus has undergone extensive construction since the February 2013 tornado that damaged the front of campus.

This setback did not stop administration from continuing several projects that will not only benefit current students and faculty, but will benefit future golden eagles in decades to come. Century Park North, currently the newest residence hall community in the state, was opened August 2010. This August, the freshman class of 2018 was the first to set up house in Century Park South.

The new Century Park, as many current students are calling it, is located across the street from what was dubbed the old Century Park. This community of residence halls contains three buildings, two of which are fully completed. The two completed buildings welcomed new students on August 15 and 16 for move-in day.

Century Park South is very similar to Century Park North. There are several differences that have been made to help better the university.

CP South has a specific building dedicated to Luckyday Scholars. This will allow for Luckyday members to closely work with their fellow scholars and mentors.

Also, CP South will contain a new student health facility, Moffitt Health Center, in the third and final building. This improvement to campus will allow Student Health Services to reach its utmost potential and will also enable it to service students and faculty more effectively, privately and efficiently. This last building is scheduled to open January 2015.

Another new addition to the campus is Asbury Hall. This building will be the new home to one of the university’s most prestigious and well-known colleges, the College of Nursing. The fundraising campaign for the new facility began January 2012. One of the first and largest donations was made by the Asbury Foundation of Hattiesburg, with $4 million being donated to the campaign.

The University of Southern Mississippi Foundation hopes to reach its goal of $8 million. Recently, HMP Nursing Services Inc. donated $125,000 to the campaign.

“HMP Nursing is proud of USM and its many accomplishments,” said HMP Nursing Services Director Jay Slaughter, according to a USM press release. “The new College of Nursing Building is just an example of the growth and prosperity of the University.”

Of the company’s donation, $100,000 will go toward the funding for Asbury Hall and $25,000 will create a scholarship under the names of Mike and Janet McElroy, owners and founders of
HMP Nursing.The South Mississippi Home Health Foundation also made a large donation toward the Nursing Building Campaign. Their $400,000 donation has taken fundraising above a total of $6 million.

“The College of Nursing at Southern Miss is one of the cornerstones for professional nursing education in Mississippi, and the construction of a new nursing building on campus is long overdue,” said SMHHF Board President Mary Stainton, according to a USM press release. The South Mississippi Home Health Foundation will have a lecture hall named in its honor in the new nursing building. Also, a large classroom in the building will be named for HMP Nursing and the McElroy family.

Due to the construction, many students are worried about parking availability on campus. A large area across from the Liberal Arts Building has been cleared in order for a parking lot to be built, said Joe Paul, vice president of student affairs. For more information on the changes being made to campus, visit the USM Foundation website.

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Mary Sergeant
Writer and Photographer for the Student Printz at the University of Southern Mississippi

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