The Mississippi State University-Meridian campus will expand today with the opening of the Newberry Building on Fifth Street, adjacent to the MSU Riley Center in downtown Meridian.
The Newberry Building was donated by the Riley Foundation in 2009, after sitting empty for nearly three decades. The 20,175 square-foot facility will house classrooms and offices of the MSU-Meridian Division of Business.
The building is a historical landmark and required some renovations before the university could take it over, which cost approximately $4 million, along with an additional $1.1 million to furnish and equip the building. City and university officials said they hoped the renovations would help bring new life to downtown Meridian.
Dean and Associate Vice President of MSU-Meridian Stephen Brown said the building will help increase enrollment and develop a downtown campus. The additional classrooms and offices will allow room for 250 to 500 additional students and 15 to 20 faculty and administrators to meet the needs of those students.
“The Riley Foundation is an integral part of the growth and revitalization of downtown Meridian,” MSU President Mark Keenum said when the building was donated. “This gift will help open avenues for partnerships with local companies and MSU-Meridian. It will also create a research center focused on business and entrepreneurship and offer an outstanding venue for regional conferences and meetings.”
Business courses, including accounting, marketing, management and information systems, are scheduled to begin at the Newberry Building today while all other classes will continue at the College Park campus at 1000 Hwy. 19 North in Meridian.