FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 31, 2009
Contact: Macaulay Knight Whitaker
Preservation and renovation in the works for MUW campus
COLUMBUS, Miss. – Mississippi University for Women continues to move through Phase 1 of its proposed master plan. With the Art and Design building completed, next on the list is Poindexter Hall, which houses the music program.
"Poindexter is one of a number of buildings on campus with a national historic significance," said Peppy Biddy, chair of the department of music and theatre. "The faculty is very excited about updating of facilities, we already have ideas about events to celebrate the re-opening."
Poindexter, which includes classrooms, teaching studios, a music library, practice rooms and a 235-seat recital hall, is one of 23 buildings on the MUW campus listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The demolition stage of Poindexter began in July with careful consideration by the university to maintain the historical integrity of the building. The $600,000 phase is expected to be completed in January of 2010.
“Right now we are basically ripping out anything that is not a load-bearing wall or part of the historic structure,” said Nora Miller, vice president for finance and administration at MUW. “The renovation will give us a more ADA accessible building (ramps and elevators), more and better restroom facilities, particularly for public use when performances take place.”
Once Poindexter hall is completed, planning will begin for the Fant Memorial Library. According to Miller, major improvements to the library include group meeting space, large multi-purpose rooms for classes and other activities, archives space for restoration, storage and display and a cyber-cafe to provide a retail dining space in a high-traffic area.
Plans for the library also include 24-hour zones of the library and an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) for volumes not in frequent circulation. As the first ASRS in Mississippi, this robotic storage and retrieval system will allow students to “order" their books on-line from anywhere, and the books will be waiting when they get to the library. Pre-planning is being conducted for the library transformation and funds are being sought to bolster the $16 to $18 million estimated cost.
Other buildings included in the planned restorations and repairs are Peyton Hall, which has undergone Phase 1 tornado repairs, and Martin and Cochran halls, both of which have undergone planned renovations. The new physical plant facility has been completed and the Mable Ward has been demolished. Along with the renovations of Poindexter and the Library, Phase I projects remaining include street, parking, landscaping and recreational field projects and the demolition of Taylor and Keirn.