In his final week as president of Southern Miss, Shelby Thames celebrated with the groundbreaking for USM's new technology park.
USM and city officials along with U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran broke ground near the park's first building.
The 50,000-square-foot facility, called the National Formulation and Science Laboratory, will be a leader in polymer science research, officials say.
One of the main goals of the technology park is to keep highly educated Mississippians within the state.
The estimated cost to build the laboratory is $22 million.
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