A Chat with the President - Making Progress at Gulf Park

Uploaded by southernmissmedia on 08.03.2011

We're here today on the Gulf Park campus talking with David Taylor. David heads the Physical
Plant for Southern Miss Gulf Coast. We wanted to learn a little bit more about some of the
activities that are going on here, new initiatives, and some of the restoration. David think back
a few years and describe if u will what this campus was like after Katrina.
It was pretty unbelievable. We came across the tracks, and every building was down. Some
were gone. We had water in all but one building, and the roof came off it. The piles of debris,
some of the neighbors wondering around looking for their stuff. It was just kind of unbelievable.
Unless you were here to see it, it's hard to imagine how bad it was.
That kind of destruction. What repairs and renovations have been done up until now?
Well this building, the library, and the advanced education center which is Fleming Center now
were the first two buildings reoccupied. We've repaired their hallway complex, business complex,
built a new building the Technology center, and repaired the Barber building which is
a fitness center that goes along with the deal. The physical plant, naturally, it was
restored but it wasn't too bad. It was towards the north of the campus, and just had a little
bit of water in it. It still had to be gutted the floors and sheetrock. We moved some people
back over here to some of the offices, and we have class here. So, pretty much everything
from the library to the north is repaired. The stuff on the south part of campus we're
still waiting on. Tell us about the up-coming renovations.
Well we have architects working on Hardy Hall, Lloyd Hall, and Elizabeth Hall. We're close
on having final plans. In Hardy, we will rebuild the kitchen which was destroyed in the storm.
It will have a bookstore in it, and kind of a student hang out area. Admissions will be
on the first floor. Then, the second and third floors will be some administrative offices
and College of Ed/Psych mainly on the third floor.
What kind of a timeline are you looking at? Hopefully, everybody will be back here mid-
2012 is what we think. That's good news.
And Lloyd, we're getting close to plans on it. It won't have any offices; it will just
be a classroom building. That will allow us to get rid of the modular units we're using
over in Gulfport now. We won't need them when we have these classrooms.
Will that be 2012 also? Yes ma'am.
Good, good. Well out of all of this, what has you most excited?
Getting the buildings repaired, and getting people back here. For five years, or really
over five years they've been in Gulfport and they've been kind of split. People traveling
back and forth. The students have to go over there to get books, and come to class over
here. It's not a real good situation. It will be better when everybody's back here and there's
a lot of traffic on campus. It will be nice. Well I don't think people always realize the
magnitude of destruction that a hurricane can bring, and you do. We appreciate all that
you've done to rebuild this campus and all that you're about to do. So, eat your Wheaties.
You're going to need some energy. Thank you David Taylor.
Thank you.