USM officially opens renovated College Hall

HATTIESBURG — The School of Mass Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi has cut the ribbon for the renovated College Hall on the Hattiesburg campus.

School of Mass Communication and Journalism, campus radio station WUSM-FM and The Student Printz student newspaper will also call College Hall home after being housed in Southern Hall for several decades.

“Today marks a new era in the history of this special building,” said Dr. Chris Campbell, director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism. “And the College Hall you see today is almost identical to the building that first opened in 1912. We believe that this impressive restoration will help us reach our goal of becoming one of the finest mass communication and journalism programs in the country.”

Over the last 100 years, College Hall has hosted classes, department offices and even the University’s first library and auditorium. Renovation of the building blends modern technology, such as LED lighting and other energy-efficient infrastructure, along with revival of the building’s 20th century architectural style, said project manager Joel Lucero.

The south entrance, previously blocked by a mechanical room, will be accessible and several windows bricked in decades ago are back, along with arch-shaped windows above the entrances on the east and west sides of the building. A staircase on the west end, part of the original structure, has been restored and landscaping of the building’s grounds will be included.

W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company served as the contractor for the project, with architectural services provided by Dale Partners Architects, P.A. The overall projected cost of the renovation is $6.3 million.

Campbell, along with the USM Foundation and Southern Miss Vice President for Advancement Bob Pierce, have been reaching out to Southern Miss supporters, including alumni of the school, to back fundraising efforts for new furniture and equipment for the building as well as scholarships for the school’s students.

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