New Marine Research Center Up For A Ground Breaking Ceremony At Gulfport

First Posted: Nov 14, 2016 04:10 AM EST

The new University of Southern Mississippi marine research center will break ground at Gulfport today, Nov. 14. The $10 million educational facility aims to house the university's School of Ocean Science and Technology.

The center will be large enough to contain oceanography equipment for students and scientists to carry out studies, researchers and experiments. Strategically located near a busy intersection that serves as the front door for the Port of Gulfport, the center will be located between the water and the shore.

According to Sun Herald, USM chair and professor of marine science Monty Graham said that "This will be ideal for our students and scientists."

"It'll allow the scientists a place to examine ocean specimens. It gives the crew of the research vessel a quick way to mobilize and de-mobilize. It gives the students more of a hands-on approach," he added.

He added that this ground-breaking ceremony would kickstart the emergence of blue technology. This means building a marine technology cluster where all legs of the ocean industry from educational institutions and research entities will work together to benefit not only Southern Mississippi but the whole nation as well.

Expected to be finished by the end of 2017, the university will lease the building since the port owns the property. The new marine center is a product of team work by both architects and USM students taking interior design classes. They merged previous design specifications from the USM division of marine sciences at Stennis Space Center in Hancock County.

The marine center will allow scientists and students to fabricate vessel parts and study specimens. Since it is still an educational center, it will have classrooms allotted for students to learn about marine science, ocean engineering and hydrography.

As quoted by WLOX, Port of Gulfport Executive Director Jonathan Daniels said that "The center will allow for the port to serve as the epicenter, along with the city, of oceanographic research in the Gulf of Mexico."

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