March 20, 2019  

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Southern Miss Receives MDOT Grant for Gulf Park Campus Improvements

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The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) presented a check to The University of Southern Mississippi June 21 that will provide a majority of funding for improvements to the Gulf Park campus. University and MDOT representatives (left to right) were on hand for the presentation: Dr. Doug Vinzant, Vice President for Finance and Administration; Dr. Chris Crenshaw, Associate Vice President for Facilities Planning and Management; MDOT Commissioner Tom King; Dr. Steve Miller, Vice President for the Gulf Park campus; Dr. Casey Maugh Funderburk, Associate Provost for the Gulf Park campus; and Zach Stewart, Gulf Park Student Government Association President. (University Communications photo)

Representatives from The University of Southern Mississippi and the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) gathered for a grant check presentation totaling $160,000 from MDOT and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on Tuesday, June 21.

MDOT Transportation Commissioner Tom King presented the check to Dr. Steve Miller, vice president for the Gulf Park campus, in Hardy Hall on the Gulf Park campus in Long Beach.

The $160,000 grant will provide the majority of funds that will be used to enhance the area surrounding Bear Point Bayou, near the heart of the Gulf Park campus, and will consist of a redesign and construction of sidewalks, gathering areas, a pedestrian bridge, seating, landscaping and lighting. The project will also include the installation of a seventh Code Blue emergency phone on the Gulf Park campus, providing added safety and security access.

“We are thrilled to support the Southern Miss community on the Gulf Coast in further enhancing the beauty of this campus through this project,” said King. “These improvements will greatly benefit students, staff and the public for years to come.”

The project’s funding is administered by MDOT with funds from FHWA as part of the Transportation Alternative Grant Program (TAP). The 80/20 grant breakdown means MDOT will provide $160,000 toward construction of the project with Southern Miss providing $32,000.

“We appreciate the support of Commissioner King, MDOT and the Federal Highway Administration for providing this grant that will allow for the construction of new pedestrian pathways on our campus that our students, faculty, staff and visitors can utilize and be proud of,” said Miller. “I look forward to seeing our beautiful beachfront campus become more pedestrian friendly through this project.”

Managed and designed by Tice Engineering, Inc., the project is expected to begin in September 2016 and is expected to be completed in April 2017.

For more information on the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus, visit www.usm.edu/gulfcoast.