MSU approved to build new dorms, road totaling $74.2M

MSU logoSTARKVILLE — Mississippi State University is considering spending $60.5 million to build two new residence halls.

The College Board approved plans for MSU to hire the McCarty Company Design Group to design two 356-bed dormitories, plus a 10,000-square-foot facility for the Sonny Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans.

The dorms would replace the existing 220-bed Evans Hall, a four-story red brick building southeast of Humphrey Coliseum that would be demolished.

MSU President Mark Keenum said the university would save money by having two buildings designed at once, but could build them in phases.

“We may not build but one and it would be a replacement for Evans, that’s all,” Keenum said. He said Evans Hall would not house students beginning this coming fall.

MSU would borrow $58 million and use $2.5 million in donations under current financial plans. Construction is estimated to cost nearly $52 million, while architectural and engineering fees would cost $2.8 million. The remaining $5.8 million would go for miscellaneous costs and to cover unforeseen expenses.

The university, which currently has about 20,000 students, says that if enrollment grows to 22,000, it will need on-campus housing for 5,000 students.

MSU currently has 4,700 beds, but the university warned that other older dorms will need renovation or demolition over the next 10 years, and having all 712 beds would give flexibility. For example, administrators said they could decide to demolish 500-bed Rice Hall, instead of renovate. MSU says that Hull, Herbert, McKee, Sessums and Critz halls are also aging.

Also, the College Board approved plans for MSU to spend $13.7 million to build a new south entrance road to campus, running north from Poor House Road near the Mississippi Horse Park around the university’s South Farm and connecting to Blackjack Road.

Keenum said the 3.5-mile road would allow people traveling north from Jackson to enter the MSU campus without passing through the center of Starkville, as they must today. Of the budget, $15.2 million in federal money being held by the Mississippi Department of Transportation, while $3.5 million would come from university coffers.

“It will open up that whole south-end corridor for our university,” Keenum said.

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