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University of Mississippi to add...

University of Mississippi to add student housing, renovate athletic facilities

By: Jeremy Pittari - January 22, 2024

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IHL approved a $245 million bond to support Ole Miss in its planned construction and renovation.

Student housing at the University of Mississippi will soon increase by almost 1,000 beds through a $245 million bond issue approved by the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning during the Board’s regular meeting last Thursday. 

The bond will fund the construction of student housing that will accommodate 981 beds and improve academic and athletic facilities. 

Senior Associate Commissioner for Finance John Pearce Jr. informed the IHL Board that through the bond, construction or renovation of the following will occur:

  • $165 million to build student housing
  • $42 million for women’s athletics facilities
  • $17 million for an early learning and evaluation center
  • $12 million to art facilities
  • $9 million to renovate Vardaman Hall.

The interest rate for the bond is expected to be 4.15 percent, as of January 12, 2024. The bond has a 30-year term, Pearce explained.

Some of the funding will come from a multi-year campaign called Champions Now. Of the $60 million in total pledges made so far, $9.8 million has been collected.

Details of work to the athletic facilities includes construction of a new softball stadium that will include dugouts, seating, a press box and restrooms, while renovation of existing structures such as the team’s indoor facility, coaches’ offices, training space, team lounge and locker rooms will also be conducted. 

Renovation of the soccer complex will address current deficiencies such as creating more concessions and restrooms, and the bond will fund the construction of a larger press box and a new ticket office.

At the Ole Miss rifle facility, work will provide better amenities for the team that includes lockers and restrooms along with the construction of a firing range and storage. 

Renovations will also be conducted to areas of the Gillom Sports Center’s vacated by the softball team that include a new scoreboard for the volleyball competition area, repairing issues with the HVAC system, and realigning the female coaches’ offices.

Construction of the new residence facility will include demolition of Kincannon Hall. The addition of the more than 900 additional beds will give the university a total of 6,571 beds by fiscal year 2026.

“This will double the amount of debt for the university, and the university is looking to add about $10 million in revenue. These will be at rates comparable to the current rates offered by the university,” Pearce said. “As you can see from the debt amortization this will increase the overall debt service of the university, peaking at just under $40 million in 2028.”

Pearce added that with this bond issue, the university’s total debt will not get below the current debt service of $25 million until 2037. He added the university has room to absorb the debt.

The IHL Board approved the bond request. The next meeting of the Board will be February 15, 2024.

About the Author(s)
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Jeremy Pittari

Jeremy Pittari is a lifelong resident of the Gulf Coast. Born and raised in Slidell, La., he moved to South Mississippi in the early 90s. Jeremy earned an associate in arts from Pearl River Community College and went on to attend the University of Southern Mississippi, where he earned a bachelor's of arts in journalism. A week after Hurricane Katrina, he started an internship as a reporter with the community newspaper in Pearl River County. After graduation, he accepted a full-time position at that news outlet where he covered the recovery process post Katrina in Pearl River and Hancock Counties. For nearly 17 years he wrote about local government, education, law enforcement, crime, business and a variety of other topics. Email Jeremy:
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