Through a public/private partnership with the Area Development Partnership
and the Forrest County Industrial Park Commission, The University
of Southern Mississippi commissioned a master plan to study land
usage of approximately 500 acres of university property.
The study is
near completion and suggests a repurposing of the land, which currently
includes Van Hook Golf Course. The study recommends using the land
to house an Innovation and Commercialization Park that will attract
research-driven businesses and industry to the greater Hattiesburg
of this land will necessitate the closing of Van Hook, which will
operate through March 31, 2004. Lake Sehoy will remain as one of
the recreational portions of the park.
experienced a steady decline in usage at both facilities for quite
some time," said Gregg Lassen, university chief financial officer.
"It makes financial sense to use this land in a way that better
serves both the university and the Hattiesburg community."
has received proposals from Shadow Ridge and Timberton Golf Courses
with the purpose of providing discount rates of play for Southern
Miss students, faculty, staff and retirees. "We appreciate
the willingness of these businesses to work with Southern Miss to
ensure that our employees, former employees and students have improved
golf facilities and are able to play at discounted rates,"
said university President Shelby Thames. Other golf facilities may
choose to provide proposals and extend discount rates and packages.
of Higher Learning Board will begin reviewing the plan at their
February meeting. "The master plan for the park does include
many public recreational amenities that community members will be
able to access and enjoy," said Dr. Angie Dvorak, vice president
for research and economic development at Southern Miss.