March 16, 2009
After much anticipation, the restored Art & Design Building at Mississippi University for Women has opened its doors. A dedication is scheduled for Wednesday, March 25 at 5 p.m. and tours and demonstrations will begin at 3 p.m.
The facility has come a long way from the day it and several other campus buildings were struck by a tornado in 2002.
"The completion of the Art and Design building marks the last step of recovery from that tornado," said Nora Miller, MUW''s vice president for finance and administration.
The initial phase of the project, repairs to the exterior of the building, was completed in July 2005 at a cost of $3.2 million.
The remainder of the project was delayed pending resolution of eligibility for certain repairs and improvements to the building. In the meantime, the MUW Foundation provided bridge funding from a line of credit, which the university repaid as the Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursements were received. Cost increases related to post-Katrina construction added to the problems with the initial project budget.
In August 2007, FEMA provided technical assistance to review these claims, resulting in the status of this project being changed to an improved project, and FEMA approved a project budget increase of $1.8 million, with funding available from state general obligation bonds.