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STARKVILLE, Miss.–A $7 million bond package signed Friday [April 23] by Gov. Phil Bryant will fund expansion of Mississippi State’s Mitchell Memorial Library.

Another floor will be added at the northeast corner to the university’s main library, said Dean of Libraries Frances Coleman. To be located opposite the Charles H. Templeton Sr. Music Museum, the addition will include exhibit spaces, study rooms, research areas, administrative offices and a black-box theater, she added.

Coleman said the expansion will enable the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library to relocate from the first floor to the fourth. Also moving will be the Congressional and Political Research Center that holds collections of prominent public officials, including the late U.S. Sen. John C. Stennis and Congressman G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery–both MSU alumni.

“We started the preplanning when the Legislature approved $0.2 million last year,” said Tim Muzzi, MSU’s associate director of architectural planning and construction. “With the additional $7 million, we can continue the project through the design, bidding and construction process.

“We’ll fine-tune the plan a little more, and once that’s approved, we’ll begin the bidding process. Probably, we’ll begin construction in about a year.”

Coleman said the Jackson-based Foil Wyatt Architects and Planners PLLC, the same team that headed the library’s major 1995 expansion and renovation project, will oversee the design of the addition.

“This new addition will enhance opportunities for students, faculty, staff and researchers,” she said. “The university administration is very supportive of what we’re doing in the library.”

The longtime MSU library leader gave special thanks to MSU President Mark E. Keenum for his continuing emphasis on academics and invaluable leadership focused on enhancing the library’s missions and capabilities.

Though the construction may cause inconveniences, Coleman said the library’s faculty and staff will make every effort to ensure operations continue as usual during the process.

“We’re here for the students, the faculty and the researchers, and this new floor is essential to the growth of the library,” Coleman said. “The construction could be noisy at times, but we will do our best to accommodate our students and all our researchers.”

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