March 18, 2019  

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Southern Miss Celebrates Completion of New Gateway Entrance on Gulf Park Campus

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The University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Park campus in Long Beach has been adorned with the addition of a new gateway entrance from Highway 90. (University Communications photo)

The University of Southern Mississippi celebrated the completion of its newly constructed Gulf Park campus gateway entrance for the state’s only beachfront campus during a special ceremony held today (Friday, April 29) in Long Beach.

Many from the University and neighboring communities gathered to hear Southern Miss President Rodney D. Bennett, Vice President for the Gulf Park Campus Steve Miller, Long Beach Mayor Billy Skellie and Gulf Park Student Government Association President McKenzie Irish speak on how the gateway entrance serves as another advancement to the Gulf Park campus.

“Modeled after the University’s centennial gateway in Hattiesburg, this gateway represents our institution’s history and bridges the distance between our campuses, yet it still features distinctive design elements that reflect the coastal culture and identity that are unique to this campus,” said Bennett. “It is a symbol of our commitment to growth and progress as we work to meet the education, research and economic needs of our coastal community.”

Fulfilling the need for increased safety and visibility, the gateway entrance on the Gulf Park campus improves wayfinding and campus access for students, faculty, staff and friends.

“The City of Long Beach and the University have been partners for a long time, and I have witnessed the hard work of this campus after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina,” said Mayor Skellie. “It is more beautiful than I ever remembered. This is the best it has ever been. We are excited about the campus and its future plans.”

The two-phase project began in the fall of 2015 with a focus on magnifying the University entrance from Highway 90. The first phase of the project included the addition of a dedicated westbound turn lane, improving traffic flow from Beach Park Place onto Highway 90, while the second phase included the construction of two curved stucco and concrete signs on each side of Beach Park Place, which read “The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus” and display the University’s seal.  

Dedicated walkways and curbs were also added, providing a safer environment for pedestrians at the front of campus. Additional lighting on and around the signs increases visibility of the main campus entrance. Landscaping around the entrance has also been enhanced.

Development of the Gulf Park campus gateway proceeded with a design by Albert & Associates Architects, P.A. of Hattiesburg, Miss; road construction by Millennium Construction, LLC of D’Iberville, Miss.; and gateway signage construction by Vision Constructors, Inc. of Gulfport, Miss.