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Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field Press Box and Suites Addition and Reed Green Coliseum Renovation Underway

Sept. 21, 2006

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss Director of Athletics, along with Head Baseball Coach Corky Palmer, Men's Basketball Coach Larry Eustachy and Women's Basketball Coach Joye Lee-McNelis, as well as several architects and contractors met with the media today and announced plans and construction schedules for the press box and suites at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field and the renovation at Reed Green Coliseum.

When discussing the baseball project, Giannini said. "We've been waiting for this day for several years and it's really exciting that we're beginning this project. It's going to be great for out baseball program and it takes us to another level. We were slowed down by the hurricane last year and financially the project became much greater because of the hurricane and what it did to south Mississippi. We're really pleased to be in that stage that we are today. When completed, it will be one of the best baseball facilities in the country. I think it will totally change the dynamics of the stadium itself, and it's going to be great for everyone involved."

"The addition of the stadium suites and a first-class press box is another step forward for the Golden Eagle baseball program," Palmer said. "It will add to the already great atmosphere that exists at our stadium. Pete Taylor Park is an impressive facility with the fine playing surface, the clubhouse, the outstanding atmosphere and now when you add the press box and suites, it will be one of the finest overall facilities around."

The press box and suites project at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field will include the removal of the old press box, installing restrooms in the dugouts and building a new press box and 12 sky boxes. The boxes, which will have 14 dedicated exterior seats each, will be accessed by an elevator. The press area will be 1,420 square feet and will include tiered seating in the main press area and have individual areas for home and visiting radio, stadium operations and television. The scheduled completion date of this project is July 2007.

"It was pretty challenging," said Randall Lewis, one of the lead architects for JH&H Architects. " It was a really tight site to deal with. We tried to develop a scheme for everyone's sight lines and to make sure that the people in the boxes could see well and have a better experience here at the park. We tried to work it out to so that we could maintain the number of seats. I don't know if we're really adding any seats but we did take away as few as possible."

The Coliseum project will include the renovation and building of locker rooms, coaches offices, academic and meeting space for both men's and women's basketball, as well as a training room and weight room. It will include the renovation of 11,680 square feet and the addition of 15,760 square feet. This project is scheduled for completion in March 2008.

"Several things that have happened in our basketball program in the last couple of years gets us to the excitement level that we're at today," Giannini said. "Number one is the men's and women's basketball coaches. We're really excited about the new coaches that joined us a couple of years ago, Joy Lee-McNellis and Larry Eustachy. It's another step in taking our basketball program to another level. We know that we've got two coaches in place that can lead us to the championships that we all desire.

"The other part of that is updating our facilities. There's no question in this day and age that facilities become an important part of recruiting. It's been over 30 years since this building has any type of major work done so we're really excited to get the project underway. We felt like the most important part of that was our student-athletes. That's why you will see that a majority of the work will be for the coaches and student-athletes."

"Facilities are important," Eustachy said. "Richard Giannini told me what was going to happen with the renovation of our facility, and he's done everything that he said would happen. He's given us everything that we need to be successful."

"It's really exciting," McNelis said. "I'm a believer that everything that you do at a university surrounds the students, the athletes and the people that make up the university. I'm very appreciative of our administration for creating this opportunity to make this happen for us. It's a great opportunity for young men and women to come in and be a part of this. I believe that brick and mortar makes everything look a whole lot better and I am so excited about the opportunity to bring in our student athletes to such a fine institution and such a fine facility that will put us second to none to anybody in the southeast United States."

Richard Giannini Quotes On Baseball - "We've been waiting for this day for several years and it's really exciting that we're beginning this project. It's going to be great for our baseball program and it takes us to another level. We were slowed down by the hurricane last year and financially the project became much greater because of the hurricane and what it did to south Mississippi. We're really pleased to be in that stage that we are today. When completed, it will be one of the best baseball facilities in the country. I think it will totally change the dynamics of the stadium itself and it's going to be great for everyone involved.

We've got some renovation work that we're doing in the dugouts. We're building a new press box, which I know the media will be very pleased to have that. In addition to that, we're building twelve suites. This will give us a facility that not too many baseball programs in this country have.

It's been a team effort and we really appreciate not only our physical plant operation and what they've been to the project but also the architects who have worked very hard and long. We also appreciate the contactor, DC Contractors. It's not an easy project to do and it's going to take us about ten months. We're hoping that Corky is going to lead us to another NCAA tournament opportunity this year and maybe the stadium will be completed by then.

Everyone's excited about it. I know our fans are. It's really a tribute to the fans of our baseball program because it's their support that is providing the revenue that will make this dream become a reality for all of us. We thank them for stepping up and buying the suites and contributing to the project.

Lastly, I want to congratulate Coach Palmer because a lot of this is due to the success that the baseball team has had and its leadership. Any program that's been to four-straight NCAA opportunities really speaks well not only for Coach Palmer and his coaching staff but for our student-athletes. "

"This has been in the planning stages for several years. The same as the basketball project, the hurricane put us behind a year but we've now got it started. The construction has become a reality and we're really excited.

On Basketball ... Several things that have happened in our basketball program in the last couple of years gets us to the excitement level that we're at today. Number one is the men's and women's basketball coaches. We're really excited about the new coaches that joined us a couple of years ago, Joy Lee-McNellis and Larry Eustachy. It's another step in taking our basketball program to another level. We know that we've got two coaches in place that can lead us to the championships that we all desire.

The other part of that is updating our facilities. There's no question in this day and age that facilities become an important part of recruiting. It's been over thirty years since this building has had any type of major work done so we're really excited to get the project underway. We felt like the most important part of that was our student-athletes. That's why you will see that a majority of the work will be for the coaches and student-athletes.

We're expanding the locker room areas and the coaches' offices. We're adding an additional third of the space that we had in the past, which I think will be really terrific. In addition to that, we're going to build a new visitor's locker room, which will be located on the opposite side of where our locker room is. I think that is very positive.

The fans will also notice that we are getting a new heating and air conditioning system which is what this building really needed. We're also getting a new sound system.

All of this construction is budgeted at 7.8 million dollars. It's going to take about eighteen months to complete this project. We will be out of our locker room area for the next two seasons but the end result will be terrific."

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