The addition of the Kress Building to Mississippi State's other downtown showpiece, the Riley Center for the Performing Arts, allows plans for expansion by MSU Meridian to be accomplished easier and faster.
"The Newberry Building right next to the Riley Center is going under construction or going to be developed for the business school. The Kress building now just helps that to work out so much better," said Riley Center executive director Dennis Sankovich.
The Newberry Building will provide space for the business division of the MSU-Meridian campus. Sankovich said he believes it will also provide a growing opportunity for the downtown area of Meridian.
"Oh I think this will be great for the downtown area. Any time you can bring development like this and a vacant building becomes developed it really brings new interests," he said.
MSU meridian dean, Dr. Jack Tucci, could not agree more.
"So we're excited that we're part of the economic engine for Meridian, Mississippi," said Tucci.
Originally, that engine was supposed to rev up construction on the buildings July 1, 2010. After meeting with the architects working on the project, that start date has changed.
"We found that to stay on schedule, in fact, to make it meet on schedule, we would start demolition maybe a month or month and a half earlier," said Tucci.
The new buildings for the MSU Meridian campus are expected to be fully open in the fall of 2011. The buildings will include multiple offices and numerous classrooms. It will also have a bookstore and a coffee shop.