housing will have a new look soon on the Hattiesburg campus of The
University of Southern Mississippi. A 252-bed Sorority Village will
be located on a portion of the current Pine Haven property and will
cost approximately $13 million. Sororities will finance the project
through their individual and chapter room rentals.
At the conclusion of the summer 2005 semester, the
university will begin downsizing the Pine Haven Family Housing complex.
Of the 296 apartments 128 will be removed to make space for the
new residence hall. Currently, 90 students occupy the 128 units.
Those affected students will be accommodated by being moved to the
remaining 168 units or through a lease agreement between the university
and adjacent apartments.
"All students and their families who currently
reside in Pine Haven will be accommodated," stated Lorinda
Krhut, director of Residence Life at Southern Miss. "Pine Haven
has served us well for 45 years, but the facility is in such a condition
now that it is beyond repair. The replacement cost for Pine Haven
would be in excess of $25 million, which is well beyond our reach;
thus, the plan is to phase out the Pine Haven area over time."
When the Pine Haven complex was constructed 1960,
Krhut said, there was no other housing available for students with
families. "We believe the external housing market now provides
affordable housing for our students with families. Maintaining 168
units at Pine Haven will allow us to accommodate all of our current
residents' needs and see how the external housing market responds
to our student family needs," she added.
Wilbur Hall, which currently houses sorority women,
will be renovated and converted to freshman housing, which is an
area of expansive growth for the university. Enrollment at Southern
Miss increased again during the 2004-05 academic year, resulting
in the largest freshman class in the university's history. Dr. Joe
Paul, vice president for student affairs, said, "The university
has bold plans for freshman housing. Converting the current Panhellenic
building to freshman housing brings exciting possibilities for creating
a full freshman quad, and the unique chapter rooms in the Panhellenic
building can be converted to learning support space and freshman
classrooms, which will help us develop a living and learning community."