June 2, 2011 9:27:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State has a new jewel it is eager to show off.
On Wednesday, MSU took possession of the Mize Pavilion, the new practice facility for the school''s basketball teams.
"The coolest thing about it is it will be a dual-purpose facility," said Jay Logan, director of Humphrey Coliseum and basketball game management at Mississippi State. "We have added a lobby, or a new porch, to the coliseum. There will be other things added as we move into the summer, but we were gearing this day to work toward games beginning (today)."
The building is named in honor of the Mize family and is attached to the south side of Humphrey Coliseum. It includes 29,000 square feet for basketball courts (43,000 square feet in all).
The cost of the facility was estimated at more than $11 million when plans for construction were announced in August 2009. JESCO, Inc. of Tupelo and Fulton built the facility. Foil Wyatt Architects, of Jackson, provided the design concept.
Estimates put the final cost at or more than $13 million.
Logan said the lobby will become the entrance point to the building and will be used for men''s and women''s basketball games. It provides more space for MSU staff members to scan tickets and allows for an easier flow of spectators in and out of the building.
In addition two basketball practice courts, which can be divided by a retractable wall and are sound proof, the facility includes a weight room, a video room, a training room, offices for the men''s and women''s basketball coaches, and an 84-space parking garage.
Former MSU players David Rula and Erick Dampier were major donors to the project and have the practice courts named after them.
Mize Pavilion also features state-of-the-art technology, including 26 televisions and Blu-ray players. All of the audio visual systems include compact disc and iPod capability, and all of the offices are wired to be cable free.
Staff writer David Miller contributed to this report.
Adam Minichino is the Sports Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.