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University tenants move into former Baptist Hospital location

The University of Mississippi’s South Oxford Center, housed in the former location of Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi, welcomed its first tenant on Tuesday.

The Counselor Education Clinic for Outreach and Personal Enrichment, or COPE, is the first of nine tenants who will move from the University’s main campus to the SOC during the 2018-2019 academic year.

Ole Miss purchased the 15-acre site in June 2017, and officially took over on March 1 of this year. The space provides nearly 485,000 square feet of crucial space for growing programs, according to Larry Sparks, UM vice chancellor for administration and finance.

“The quality and quantity of space available at the South Oxford Center contributes to the University’s ability to efficiently address the allocation of space on our campus,” Sparks said. “We are pleased that this space offers an excellent option for support units, teaching and research activities, and other functions that serve external constituencies.”

Over the next several years, the SOC will welcome new tenants, thus allowing for the expansion of multiple academic, research and service units. While the interior of the building still looks similar to a hospital, part of the University’s plans for renovation include the addition of a common library area, an exercise room and additional amenities, the statement said.

In addition to COPE, other tenants include the Center for Excellence in Literacy Instruction, the Center for Health and Sport Performance, the Center for Research Evaluation, the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Living Blues magazine, the National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering, the North Mississippi Japanese Supplementary School and the Office of Food and Nutrition Security.

“The South Oxford Center will provide the needed space for academic units to expand their research and teaching activities,” Associate Provost Donna West Strum said in a recent news release. “Faculty are currently setting up their labs and clinics, which will provide services to the community in a more convenient place.”

The building’s hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. An on-call shuttle service between the South Oxford Center and the main campus will be provided this fall. Ole Miss staff and students who need transportation from the facility can call 662-915-7235 to set up a time for pickup 30 minutes in advance.