Tupelo — Beyond the dirt and construction, a highly visible presence in downtown Tupelo will be getting a new look — specifically, one that is greener.
The BancorpSouth building, with its glass and steel façade, will feature a new plaza courtyard, providing a more open air, natural look that executives believe will continue to enhance the downtown Tupelo area.
Work on the bank headquarters building, which also houses other offices, began in the spring, with completion anticipated this fall, according to BancorpSouth senior vice president and marketing director Randy Burchfield. The architect is DWC & Associates of Tupelo and the contractor is F & F Construction of Memphis.
‘A focal point for downtown’
While the plaza’s fountain had been a long-time staple in downtown Tupelo, there were maintenance problems associated with it, as well as drainage issues that also impacted plant and flora growth.
Burchfield and executive vice president Wilson Long said that the renovations are the result of BancorpSouth’s desire to update and introduce new design elements for the plaza. The new design will feature trees, plants, a water wall, walkways and more open, accessible green spaces. It will be entirely handicapped accessible and will have an advanced irrigation system.
“These changes and additions will serve to enhance the plaza’s look, its accessibility and its functionality for special events, continuing as a focal point for downtown Tupelo,” Burchfield added.
In order to enhance the look of the construction fence during the renovation process, BancorpSouth turned to local schools, which provided 4’ x 7’ art panels depicting summer scenes as created by the students. The bank provided the art supplies and materials to the schools and also made a monetary contribution to the art departments of those schools.
While the plaza has been busy, it hasn’t been the only source of updating or renovation for the bank.
Recently, the interior of the bank lobby has experienced some changes, some of which have included expanded customer service accommodations, new lobby flooring and an updating of the teller area along with additional private offices and expanded customer seating in the commercial lending area. Also, the complete interior area of the first floor has been repainted.
“The interior renovations all serve to better accommodate bank customers and to enhance the professional look of the building,” Long said.
Burchfield said that BancorpSouth has recently completed banking locations in a number of Mississippi markets and that new branch construction is taking place in out-of-state markets as well.
One Mississippi Plaza, the headquarters building, dates back to 1978.
Contact MBJ contributing writer Karen Kahler Holliday at email@example.com.