USM freshmen move into new Century Park complex

HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) - By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) - Kristy Schimdt admitted she was a little nervous about leaving for college. But then Diamondhead teen got a look at her dorm room with its own bathroom.

"I was really excited," Schimdt said. "It was very big. It's got nice wooden floors and the beds are surprisingly comfortable."

On Freshman Move In Day, 860 Southern Miss freshmen and their families arrived at Century Park Residential Complex. It's made up of four, four story residence halls and a learning center.

USM officials say the buildings show the black and gold's effort to go green.

"It's going to be the most energy efficient complex for any state building in Mississippi," VP of Student Affairs, Dr. Joe Paul said. "From low flow plumbing, to remote sensors that turn lights on and off automatically when people enter and leave the room, to a lot of educational aspects that help students be a part of the energy solution."

School officials say the freshman quad was designed with the new college student in mind.

"One of the important things in adjusting is to feel a part of a community. So this sort of downscales a big university into a freshman living and learning environment. Over my shoulder, there is a learning center that also will have some freshman classes taught there. So they'll actually have some of their academic courses here in the quad." Paul said.

Honors College student Richard Mauffray said living in Century Park will ease the homesickness for Bay St. Louis.

"It's a very nice set up they have," Mauffray said. "It's sort of isolated from the campus, but still on the campus and it helps. It provides a nicer environment. It can make it better for coming from home to the college. It makes it feel more homey."

Century Park Complex also includes rooms that are handicap accessible. USM officials say freshmen with leadership scholarships and those in the Honors College were given first choice to live in the new dorms.

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