STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State will begin construction on a new, $11.2 million state-of-the-art basketball practice facility on Tuesday following the announcement that the Henry Mize Foundation has donated a lead gift of $4 million.
The expected 15-month construction project will be built by JESCO, Inc. of Tupelo and Fulton, with the design concept provided by Foil Wyatt Architects of Jackson, Miss.
The building, which will be named at a later date in honor of the Mize family and will be attached to the south side of Humphrey Coliseum, will be 57,611 square feet and contain 23,500 square feet of court space. Included will be an 84-space parking garage, offices for both the men's and women's coaches, two collegiate regulation courts length wise with four high school size cross courts, a weight room, training room and a reception area of 5,000 square feet.
"This is a great day for our men's and women's basketball teams, for our entire athletic program and for the university as a whole," MSU president Dr. Mark E. Keenum said. "Today, we're launching a project that will be a major asset to our campus, enhancing its attractiveness and functionality by providing new flexibility and increased efficiency to our basketball programs."
The Henry Mize Foundation was founded in April of 2003 following the death of its namesake, Booneville, Miss., resident Henry Mize, a 1938 graduate of Mississippi State and lifetime supporter of Bulldog athletics.
His nephew, Paul "Buzzy" Mize of Tupelo, Miss., serves as the permanent director of the Henry Mize Foundation, which also in 2004 funded the $1.8 million four-sided, center-hung scoreboard at the Hump.
"The purpose of the foundation is to add to the quality of life to the next generation of Mississippi State athletes and students," said the younger Mize, who graduated from MSU's college of business and industry with distinction in 1978. "This university changed Uncle Henry's life and this is his way of giving back. This project is something I know he would be extremely proud of."
Paul "Buzzy" Mize is a 1974 graduate of Itawamba High School and is the senior vice president of Ross and Yerger in Tupelo. In 2003, he was named the 2003 Tupelo Public School District Parent of the Year and in 2006 he and his wife, Catherine, were awarded the 2006 Association for Excellence in Education Jack Reed Sr. Award.
They are the proud parents of Paul Jr. (25) and Bennett (23).
- The Henry Mize Foundation has provided the lead gift of $4 million and will have the naming rights, which will be announced at a later date.
- General contractor is JESCO out of Tupelo and Fulton, based on the designs by Foil Wyatt Architects out of Jackson, Miss.
- Completion time is estimated at 15 months.
- Total cost is $11.2 million
- Total square footage of practice facility is 57,611.
- 23,500 square feet of court space (one of the largest in the SEC, including more court space than facilities at Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee and Georgia).
- 5,000 square feet of reception space that can used for pregame functions and to host recruits.
- Two college regulation-size courts length wise, with four high school size cross courts.
- Retractable wall to separate men's and women's courts.
- Weight room
- Training room
- Offices for both the men's and women's coaches.
- 84-space parking garage.
- Work begins on Tuesday.
MSU Athletics Director Greg Byrne
"This facility is a key component to allow us to continue to have the kind of success we have had in Men's and Women's basketball both, and also to continue to allow us to grow and take it to another level, to gain exposure, to gain notoriety for Mississippi State and all the manners that we want to."
MSU President Dr. Keenum
"This is a great day for Bulldog basketball and our men's and women's basketball teams. This facility is going to greatly enhance an already wonderful program. We are very proud of our student-athletes, and what they do and what they mean to this university."
"This type of commitment, this loyalty, this support, from the Mize Foundation and the Mize family is just indicative of the excitement and enthusiasm we are enjoying here in our Bulldog family."
"A facility like this is going to help strengthen our program, help us to recruit student-athletes to come be a part of the tradition and heritage of our basketball programs here at Mississippi State.
Henry Mize Foundation Director Paul "Buzzy" Mize
"The Hump is getting a front door. We are very happy to be able to share in this event. I believe very much in this project. The Hump is oval, and it does not have a front door. You don't know which way to go in. It is going to have a front door now, and we are very excited about this."
MSU Men's Basketball Coach Rick Stansbury
"This is a special day for us. This is a special day for men's and women's basketball. This is not something we don't just want, a lot of schools want these, but we're a school that needs this in a desperate way."
"This is a big day for everyone at Mississippi State, and I appreciate Buzzy and his family and his gracious donation for making all of this possible."
MSU Women's Basketball Coach Sharon Fanning
"This facility will be the best in the country. Every aspect of this facility is going to help us in a tremendous way."