University of Southern Mississippi on the Gulf Coast will position
itself for the growing educational needs of its customers by expanding
instructional space at its Long Beach campus.
preparing to meet the rapid growth needs of the Gulf Coast,"
said Ken Malone, chief operating officer of Southern Miss Gulf Coast.
existing space currently used by the Gulf Park Conference Center
in Hardy Hall, Southern Miss will gain approximately 50 offices
and 15,000 square feet of instructional space. Current contracts
slated through the summer will be honored by the Gulf Park Conference
offices in the 52,000-square foot Hardy Hall, other space on campus
will then be freed for classroom use.
will also facilitate the hiring of 24 additional faculty members
on the Coast, a combination of existing and new positions recently
approved by the university.
the conference center, 10 university employees associated with that
operation have been notified that their old positions will end as
of July 31. Malone said the university will work on an individual
basis with these employees to assist them in finding other employment
before the end of July. He has also asked the Southern Miss Placement
Service to assist these employees in seeking other university positions
or outside employment.
center has been operating at less than 20 percent capacity for several
years," Malone said. "When we started it in the 70s, it
made money, but now with the casinos and expanded convention housing
available, it makes more sense to concentrate our efforts on our
primary mission as an institution - education."
Dr. Jay Grimes,
provost of Southern Miss on the Gulf Coast, said the opportunity
to immediately house growing academic programs as the needs arise
will help Southern Miss become the educational institution of choice
for the people of South Mississippi.
an exciting environment today as we deliver education through new
and more innovative methods," Grimes said. "This campus
is moving forward to provide facilities to meet the needs of its
students in a responsive manner."
of the building will be approached in stages as funds become available,
Malone said. The first stage of the process will involve cleaning
out the building beginning in August and installing a new ventilation
system which is expected to take one year to complete.
will still be hosted at the Gulf Park campus using large meeting
facilities in the new Advanced Education Center and library buildings.
The Advanced Education Center boasts a 500-seat auditorium and,
along with the new library, features multimedia-equipped classrooms
accommodating groups from 12 to 60.