HATTIESBURG — A new facility, to be dedicated tomorrow at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), will serve as the hub of academic and outreach efforts for the institution’s ongoing focus on economic advancement.
A dedication ceremony for the newly completed Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship is set for March 5 at 5:30 p.m.
The public is invited to the event in the rotunda of the building. The building’s namesake, former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott, will be the honored guest along with state and local dignitaries, including Mississippi’s Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant.
“This facility is the epicenter and key outreach component of our economic advancement activities. Southern Miss is committed to enhancing the quality of life of Hattiesburg and south Mississippi,” said Southern Miss president, Martha Saunders.
The 53,000-square-foot, three-story building, designed by Albert and Associates of Hattiesburg, embodies the Greek Revival architecture style. A glass staircase encapsulated in its rotunda serves as the focal point of this magnificent structure. Finlo Construction of Hattiesburg was general contractor for the project that began in February 2005, delayed temporarily later that year by Hurricane Katrina.
Its first floor includes classrooms, meeting rooms and a catering kitchen for events. The second floor houses the offices of the Center’s director, the Department of Economic and Workforce Development, the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security and the Center for Logistics, Trade and Transportation. The third floor is home to the offices of University Advancement.