The student population continues to grow at the University of Mississippi. As a result, the Oxford campus is growing and improving to accommodate the influx of students.
Over the next few years, several major construction projects will enhance campus life for students, faculty and staff. Here’s a brief look at current and upcoming projects:
Manning Center Football Practice Fields
The Manning Center football practice fields are being enlarged to add length to the short field affected by the construction of the parking garage. About 40 yards will be added to the west end of the north field adjacent to Hill Drive, giving the program two full fields for practice. This field will be converted to synthetic turf, and the renovation will also include irrigation, floodlights, observation towers, fence and post padding and audio equipment. This project will be completed by July.
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Turf
The turf in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium will be changed as well. The artificial turf was deteriorating, so it has been removed and will be replaced with natural grass. A new irrigation system will be installed to help with upkeep of the natural grass. This project will also be completed in July.
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium North End Zone Addition and South End Zone Upgrade
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is getting an upgrade that will completely change its look. The north end zone bleachers are being replaced with a seating bowl, creating a more complete game environment. A brick facade will be added to the exterior of the end zone, creating a more uniform look that matches other campus structures as well as serving as the new gateway to the stadium. The entry will be the new end point for the Walk of Champions. A new plaza will replace the existing parking lot and islands, and will include a “Wall of Champions.” The stadium projects will be completed by September.
Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College Renovation and Addition
This two-phase project began in March 2014 with a 15,400-square-foot addition of classrooms, study nooks and administrative offices. This phase doubled the building’s size and was finished in early 2016. The second phase is underway and includes renovations to the existing facility that will reconfigure space to better accommodate the growing honors program. This phase is to be completed this fall.
Residence Halls 2 and 3 (Student Housing Phase II)
The rapid enrollment growth has created a need for more on-campus housing. Two new five-story residence halls will house 624 students at the former site of Guess Hall on Rebel Drive. These buildings are slated to open to students arriving on campus in August.
Student Union Addition and Renovation
The Ole Miss Student Union is undergoing a complete renovation. Construction on the first phase began in summer 2015, including the addition of dining areas, a ballroom, support kitchens, a loading dock and a transit center, all scheduled to be completed next summer. The new dining services area will open in the fall of 2017. In January 2017, services in the existing Union will be temporarily relocated to allow renovation of the student government offices, bookstore, lounge, office spaces and box office. The entire $50 million project will add 60,000 square feet and is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2018.
Croft Institute Building Envelope Corrections
The renovation to the exterior walls of the Croft Institute is ongoing and has been extended due to the deteriorated state of the masonry on the 1853 building. The brick facade on the east side will be fully replaced. The project is expected to be complete later this year.
John W. White Facilities Management Building West Wing Addition
As demands for new buildings increase, so does the need for additional staff. The Department of Facilities Planning is constructing a new addition to the existing Facilities Management Administration Building on Hathorn Road that will include office and departmental spaces for Facilities Planning and the Office of Sustainability. This construction is expected to be complete by January 2017.
Track Facility Restoration
The track facility is getting a brand-new surface after storm drainage issues were corrected. The project involves filling, compacting and stabilizing all sub-soils at the facility. After that, the rubber track will be completely replaced. The project is expected to complete in July.
Jackson Avenue Center Phase II Renovations
The project involves renovating 41,500 square feet in the Jackson Avenue Center, space that was not renovated in 2012. The project will provide a new space for the University Testing Center, three multipurpose rooms, offices and support spaces. New HVAC and electrical systems will be installed and new restrooms will be added. Construction began in April and is expected to be complete in July 2017.
North Parking Garage
A new parking structure will be constructed in the north area of campus behind Kinard Hall. The seven-level parking garage will provide 1,300 additional parking spaces. Work will begin this summer, and the garage is expected to be open in August 2017.
Gillom Women’s Sports Center
The center will undergo interior renovation, which includes new offices, a new volleyball competition area, concessions, a new strength and conditioning facility, a sports medicine suite, ADA upgrades, an elevator, film rooms, spectator restrooms and visitor locker rooms. Work begins this summer and will be completed in the summer of 2017.
Renderings show the interior and exterior looks of the new STEM building, expected to be completed during the 2018-2019 academic year.
STEM Building (pictured at top of the story)
Ole Miss received a $25 million lead gift from the Gertrude C. Ford Foundation for construction of a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Building in the Science District of campus. The building will provide some 207,000 square feet. Due to the extreme size of this project, preparation of the site began before design completion. Preparation included removing the Smith Engineering Science Building, Central Heating Plant and Old Power Plant along All-American Drive. Also, all existing utilities in the area will be relocated. Construction is scheduled to start later this year, with project completion expected in the 2018-2019 academic year.
Oxford-University Stadium (Swayze Field) – Addition and Renovations
Starting this summer, the area behind home plate will be renovated to create a Dugout Club with club seating. A two-story Performance and Operations Center also will be added. Minor renovations along the third base line and outfield terrace also are planned. This work will be done in phases and completed before the 2018 season.
University Avenue Bridge
The University Avenue bridge near Old Taylor Road will be renovated to increase load capacity. During construction, the bridge will remain open to pedestrian traffic and some traffic lanes will be closed periodically throughout construction, but it will remain passable. Work begins this summer.
Garland, Hedleston and Mayes Renovation
These buildings, constructed in 1938 as men’s dormitories, are no longer viable as housing options, but they are appropriate for academic and administrative use. The buildings will be fully renovated, including the replacement of windows, roofs and mechanical, electrical, fire protection and plumbing systems. The space will be reconfigured for the School of Applied Sciences, and a two-story addition will provide classrooms. The north entrance will be updated with a new elevator and stair connector. The south courtyards will be updated with more plaza space with an ADA entrance.
Johnson Commons East Renovation
The east end of Johnson Commons will undergo a full renovation. The upper floor will continue to provide banquet and large meeting spaces. The lower floor, formerly the Department of Human Resources, will be renovated to house the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Developmental Studies and the Center for Student Success – First Year Experience. Construction will begin this year and is expected to be complete in 2017.
South Campus Recreation Facility and Transportation Hub
The university acquired a 500,000-square-foot manufacturing plant (old Whirlpool plant) on 68 acres on the southwest edge of campus. Portions of the existing building will be repurposed to provide space for fitness activities, departmental offices, classrooms, food service and a hub for Ole Miss Campus Recreation and the Department of Parking and Transportation. Renovations to the exterior will transform the manufacturing plant into an active destination point for student life.
Lyceum Window and Envelope Restoration
The project in the central administration building includes restoration of 172 windows and repairs to the structure’s exterior envelope. Work is to begin this summer and be completed later this fall.
Article by Christina Steube, courtesy of Ole Miss Newsdesk.
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