October 22, 2014  

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Southern Miss Holds Official Groundbreaking for New Residence Halls

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Southern Miss officials held a groundbreaking ceremony today for a new student housing complex to be named Century Park South. The complex will feature three buildings, with five floors in each structure. (Submitted artist's rendering)

The University of Southern Mississippi officially broke ground today (Sept. 17) on a monumental student housing project that will transform the venerable Hattiesburg campus.

Century Park South will bring state-of-the art residence halls to Southern Miss, providing 954 beds for freshmen and other scholarship students. The $55.6 million project will feature three buildings, with five floors in each structure.

“The groundbreaking for Century Park South on the Southern Miss campus further illustrates this University’s commitment to providing the best living/learning environment possible for our students,” said President Rodney D. Bennett. “This magnificent residential complex will serve as a symbol of the progress and excellence that defines Southern Miss. We are grateful to all of the stakeholders who made this dream a reality.”

Buildings B and C of the project have an estimated completion date of July, 2014 with 511 beds available for the fall semester. Building B will be designated as Luckyday Citizenship Hall pending approval by the IHL Board. It will house Luckyday Scholarship students and Luckyday offices. The Luckyday Foundation made a $4 million gift commitment toward construction of the Century Park South complex in November, 2011.

Building A, which will also include the new Moffitt Health Center, is scheduled for completion in January, 2015. The remaining beds would be move-in ready for the spring semester of that year.

“One of my goals at Southern Miss is to create an educational experience for students that will support their progression toward graduation,” said Bennett. “A state-of-the-art student housing complex like Century Park South will certainly enhance those efforts.”

The new construction follows the grand opening of Century Park in August, 2010. Located just across Fourth Street on the northern side of campus, Century Park includes four buildings with four floors and 864 beds.

To make room for Century Park South, two aging residence halls – Vann Hall and Scott Hall – were demolished. The east end of Bond Hall, which housed staff offices primarily, was also included in the demolition plan.

The McCarty Company-Design Group, P.A. of Tupelo, Miss., is serving as the lead architect on the project with assistance from Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company, Architectural Planning Company of Norfolk, Va. Harrell Contracting Group, LLC, of Jackson, Miss., has been chosen as the contractor, pending approval by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.

Some modern conveniences available to students as part of Century Park South include the following:

  • Double occupancy with private baths in the majority of rooms
  • Larger social areas, lounges and meeting spaces for a home-like ambience
  • Mini-kitchens with ovens and microwaves provided in some lounge areas
  • Personal temperature control with thermostat in each residential room
  • Study/quiet room separate from lounges
  • Full laundromats in multiple locations
  • Energy management systems with sensors that monitor temperature and humidity in different zones
  • Oxygen level monitors to ensure fresh air circulation

“The addition of Century Park South will be transformational for our Hattiesburg campus. Not only will we now have a critical mass of contemporary, luxury housing for students, but also the north central part of campus will become a beautiful showcase area,” said Dr. Joe Paul, vice president for Student Affairs. "This will complete the second phase of our master plan for campus housing and will serve us well as we grow for many years to come.”

For more information about the Century Park housing, contact the Department of Residence Life at 601.266.4783 or reslife@usm.edu