Southern Miss hold ribbon-cutting for new student housing complex

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from The University of Southern Mississippi

The largest construction project in The University of Southern Mississippi's 105-year history culminated today (April 9) with the official ribbon-cutting of Century Park South – a new student housing complex on the University's Hattiesburg campus.

A large group of Southern Miss faculty, staff, students, state officials and other friends of the University gathered on the grounds of Spirit Park to celebrate the $55.6 million project. Century Park South brings state-of-the art residence halls to Southern Miss, providing 954 beds for freshmen and other scholarship students.

"Without the engagement of our robust campuses and local communities, improvements like this would not be possible," said Southern Miss President Rodney D. Bennett. "Our experiences are shaped by the environments in which we live, works and grow. I am excited about the importance Century Park South brings to our students with facilities that enhance student success."

Century Park South includes three buildings – Scott Hall, Vann Hall and Luckyday Citizenship Hall, which also houses the new Moffitt Health Center. All of the buildings have five floors with a multitude of modern features, such as:

Student kitchen lounge on each floor containing oversized chairs and ottomans, wall-mounted 50-inch HDTVs, full-size refrigerator/freezers, sinks, microwave ovens and in-wall ovensTwo study roomsLaundry facilities on the first floorTwo single, bunkable beds in each roomTwo desks/chairs in each roomEntertainment unit in each roomTwo chest of drawers in each roomPrivate bath with shower in each roomThe completion of Century Park South follows the opening of Century Park in August, 2010. Located just across Fourth Street on the northern side of campus, Century Park includes four buildings with four floors and 864 beds.

To make room for the new student housing complex, the University tore down a pair of aging residence facilities – Scott Hall and Vann Hall. Both names were re-instated as part of the new complex. On hand for the official ribbon-cutting were family members of legendary Southern Miss football coach Thad "Pie" Vann, for whom the original dorm and new residence hall is named.

"He would be so honored to know that his name is associated with such a beautiful complex," said the coach's daughter, Martha Ann Peeples. "It's just wonderful that the university decided to keep his name associated with the new building after the old dormitory had been demolished."

For more information about the Century Park housing, contact the Department of Residence Life at 601.266.4783 or