Coming Back from Katrina
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Park campus in Long Beach. High winds and a high storm surge washed through the historic halls of the beachfront campus.
Now, with four of five building projects completed, The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus is nearing its full return from damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.
The first buildings to be completed were the Science Building and Nursing Building, both located on the northwest corner of campus. The Science Building, a $10 million new construction project, features nine teaching laboratories, research space, approximately 20 faculty and administrative offices and an 80-seat instructional classroom. The $1.5 million Nursing Building is a renovation project featuring two laboratories, faculty offices and student learning and study areas within the 10,000-square-foot facility.
The university will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Science and Nursing Buildings on Thursday, March 28, at 11:30 a.m. at the northwest corner of campus. Following the ceremony, an open house for both new facilities will be held through 1 p.m.
The historic restoration projects for Hardy Hall and Lloyd Hall were also recently completed. The $10 million project for Hardy Hall included renovations, as well as new construction for the Barnes and Noble Bookstore and an adjacent parking lot. The three-story building also houses dining services, the College of Education and Psychology, and administrative offices including Admissions and Student Services. Lloyd Hall is a $2.4 million project that provides ten classrooms for students.
The ribbon cutting ceremony for Hardy Hall and Lloyd Hall will be held Saturday, March 30, at 11:30 a.m. during the Southern Miss Jazz and Blues Festival. The event will take place on the stage with an open house immediately following the ceremony and ending at 1 p.m.
When all five building projects broke ground in 2011, each groundbreaking ceremony featured faculty, staff and students who decorated shovels for their designated building. In keeping with that new tradition, the faculty, staff and students will also cut the ribbon for the newly finished buildings.
The remaining renovation project for Elizabeth Hall will be completed this summer. Elizabeth Hall will house the College of Arts and Letters.
A powerful “Before and After” gallery below shows the beauty of the campus and the devastating effects Hurricane Katrina had on the historic buildings and grounds. It is with great pride that the campus returns in 2013 with state-of-the-art facilities in a beautiful landscape graced with ancient oaks and the salty air of the Gulf of Mexico.