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Released January 17, 2003


HATTIESBURG - University of Southern Mississippi officials broke ground Friday to start the final phase of construction on the long-awaited $1.2 million 3-D Art Building.

Officials of the College of the Arts and Department of Art wielded shovels during a 2 p.m. ceremony at the site on West Fourth Street, just across from the university campus.

Also during the ceremony, benefactors Tommy Dulaney, president of Structural Steel Services, and his wife, Margaret, of Meridian, and Charles and Anita Price of Hattiesburg were recognized for their support of the project by naming the facility in their honor – the Structural Steel Services 3-D Art Building and the Price Sculpture Studio.

The 5,790-square-foot building will serve as studio classrooms for all functions of the 3-D art program and will be equipped with high-quality tools and work stations. The Art Department also plans to host public workshops in these multipurpose spaces.

"For many years now, the sculpture program at Southern Miss has attracted students from all over the southeast – some from even farther," said Jennifer Torres, Art Department chair. "I consider it to be one of the best programs in the region. With our new facilities, we will soon be recognized nationally as the place to study the three-dimensional arts – especially when it comes to iron pouring."

In 1990, phase one of the project included a new foundry at a cost of $191,800. Phase two in 2000, an initial addition, cost $183,000. Upon completion of this third and final phase, at a cost of $826,025, the building will contain the Price Sculpture Studio, classrooms, a wood shop, machine shop, plaster and stone lab, offices and a critique-exhibition space. The total cost is $1,200,800.

Torres credited many supporters for their instrumental roles in making the building a reality. One of those supporters is the associate vice president of facilities at Southern Miss, David Anderson, whom Torres said "worked tirelessly with the state of Mississippi to secure funds for phases one and two of the construction."

Dulaney committed an endowment to the Department of Art in May 2002 to equip the education facility with all the tools necessary to be operational.

"The generosity of Mr. Delaney and Structural Steel is especially thrilling because it will be used both for equipment and for an endowment that will fund a graduate assistantship in sculpture," said Mary Ann Stringer, dean of the college. "Our students are our investment in the future, and this new assistantship will help one of our talented young artists each year."

Charles and Anita Price have committed annual support to the Art Department, as well as an increase to their existing scholarship endowment.

"Mr. and Mrs. Price have been longtime supporters of our visual arts area in the college," said Suzanne Hirsch, development officer for the college. "It is our honor to name the sculpture studio for them in gratitude for their dedication to our students and the educational process."

The ceremony was open to the public. For more information, call the Department of Art at (601) 266-4972.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM