BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - In about four weeks, Tulane University's new Mississippi Coast campus will open its doors. Construction is on schedule and the staff will start moving in before Labor Day weekend. When Tulane broke ground on the project back in April, it was a huge, vacant building that had been gutted. It has undergone quite a transformation.
"When you come in the front door, you'll see this entire wall that depicts everything from the main campus," said Dr. Karen Lucas, Tulane University Mississippi Coast Associate Dean.
Lucas gets excited every time she checks on the progress of the new Tulane campus at Edgewater Village.
"The ceilings are all finished. The floors are all finished. We're just about ready to go," said Lucas.
Crews spent Friday putting the finishing touches on the facility. It will allow Tulane to double in size, with 16-classrooms, including a large room with movable walls. Students will enjoy amenities they don't have now, like their own restrooms and conference room.
"They'll have a student lounge, which they do not have now, along with vending machines and student study carrels and a whole hallway that's theirs. So we're excited about it. I'm thrilled for them," said Lucas.
Technology is also state-of-the-art. The school is wired with fiber optic cables, instead of high-speed internet. There are also cameras installed throughout the campus, and students and staff have to scan their thumbs in order to enter the building.
"Provide security, comfort and technology to the students, along with this great educational opportunity, and it's just a wonderful building," said Lucas.
It is a building that just four months ago, was an empty structure where birds once called home.
"They had gotten in and nested. They couldn't get out so it was a sad place. But I just knew there was great potential," said Lucas.
Students will get to see the transformation for themselves when the doors open September 8.
"They've seen the pictures. They are really excited, but they want to see it in person. So we can't wait until they walk in the door, because I know their faces will just light up," said Lucas.
Students will attend fall classes at the current campus at Edgewater Mall for two weeks. Then they'll move right across the street to the new campus on Tuesday, after Labor Day.
"Tulane has made a $2 million gift to the community. They have invested. They have said we can see it growing. We want to bring graduate programs and doctoral programs there, and so they decided they wanted to invest in Biloxi. And it's a great time, because it's the 10th anniversary of Katrina. So it's a wonderful time to be opening," said Lucas.