Spectacular Trent Lott National Center set to open at USM - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Spectacular Trent Lott National Center set to open at USM

By David Elliott – bio | email

HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) - On Friday, the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg will open the $28 million Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship.

"This project has been a long time in the making," said USM President Dr. Martha Saunders. "We had Katrina and a couple of other fits and starts. To complete this building is a real thrill."

The grand building looks like something you might find in the nation's capital. A beautiful fountain welcomes people inside and marble and granite was used in the construction.

"It looks like the building was plucked out of Washington D.C. and placed on the USM campus," said university spokesman Chad Driskell.

The highlight of the 53,000 square foot architectural marvel is a stunning spiral staircase that leads to the third floor. The building has classrooms and will serve as a research facility. It will also be the home of the National Center for Spectator Sport Safety and Security in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security's fight against global terrorism.

Former Senator Trent Lott will be there on Friday for the official opening of the building. Lott donated two chandeliers from his office when he was Senate Majority Leader.

The opening of the building coincides with USM's Centennial. Founder's Day is scheduled for March 30. The Trent Lott National Center should be a big part of the university for the next 100 years.

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