Construction at USM's Century Park near completion

The following is a press release from The University of Southern Mississippi

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Two major construction projects at The University of Southern Mississippi are transforming the north side of campus, with the state-of-the-art Century Park residential facility set to open for the fall 2010 semester, and a 1,200 space parking garage slated for completion by spring 2011. Both are located on West Fourth Street.

Century Park is a $39 million development, the largest in the history of the university, and will consist of four, four-story buildings in a gated community with 864 beds, with a learning center in the middle of the complex that will include meeting spaces and study lounges.

Each double occupancy room in Century Park includes two single bunkable beds; two desks with chairs; two chests of drawers; a bookcase; two closets; mini blinds and a micro fridge; a sink and vanity area along with a private bathroom. Other features include identification card accessibility; covered bike racks; free cable and energy efficient "smart" laundry services that includes text message to alert students when their laundry is ready; a closet on each floor to deposit recyclable material; and internet connection capabilities of up to one GB.

The project is a continuation of the university's housing master plan, with the goal of being a Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified residential complex. Landry and Lewis is the lead architect for the project, with the firm Clark-Nexsen assisting as design consultants; Yates Construction is the building contractor.

Named in conjunction with the university's 100th anniversary, Century Park will house primarily freshmen, including those in the Honors College along with Luckyday and Leadership Scholars, among others.

Dr. Chris Crenshaw, director of Southern Miss Residence Life, said the project shows the university is using its resources effectively and efficiently to provide the ultimate in educational opportunities for its students.

"I'm really excited about the impact it will make," he said. "When students, alumni and community members travel down West Fourth Street in the area by Century Park and the parking garage, they will know they are on the Southern Miss campus. It really makes a statement."

The five-story, mixed-use open zone parking facility will add 1,200 vehicle spaces to campus and be open to students, faculty and staff driving vehicles registered through parking management. Located on the north side of Bond Hall, it will have security lighting throughout, along with handicapped parking and elevators. It is designed with a brick veneer in keeping with other campus architecture designs.

"The garage will help relieve some of the parking congestion on campus and make up for spaces lost as part of the construction at Century Park and here at Bond Hall," said Southern Miss Director of Procurement and Contract Services Mike Herndon.

The parking garage is the product of a public-private partnership known as Eagle Parking LLC that Southern Miss has contracted with for development of the $15.5 million facility. Construction is by Finlo Construction and L and A Contracting of Hattiesburg. Albert and Associates architectural firm of Hattiesburg designed the structure

For more information about Century Park, call Residence Life at 601.266.4783 or online visit For more information about the parking garage, contact the Department of Parking Management at 601.266.5447.

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