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Ole Miss announces relocation plan for Confederate statue

The University of Mississippi is getting closer to relocating a Confederate monument that has become a divisive symbol in recent years.

On Wednesday, the university announced its Confederate Monument Relocation Project.

In March, University officials announced their intent to begin the process of removing the statue from its current location on the Lyceum Circle to a different location on campus. The new location will be behind the C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum and in front of the cemetery where Confederate soldiers are buried.

In a letter to Ole Miss students, faculty and staff, interim chancellor Larry Sparks announced the project and updated where they stand in the process.

“As we begin the academic year, it is important for you to know about the progress that has been made to relocate the Confederate monument to the cemetery on campus, which is a more suitable location,” Sparks’ letter reads.

The process of relocating the statue began on March 20 when the University submitted a letter to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH). University officials then had a review meeting with MDAH on April 2. After a two-month period, the University signed a contract with a firm to develop the necessary plans on June 3.

On Tuesday, the University developed a the relocation and placement plans and drawings. They conducted site work to the required administrative, architectural and engineering specifications. University officials also submitted the plans to MDAH for their consideration on Tuesday.

The remaining steps include the consideration and decision by the MDAH. If the submitted plans are approved they will then submit an agenda item to the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) that includes MDAH’s approval and to hire a contractor to perform the work.

“I am pleased that the plan and necessary drawings are complete, and I appreciate all of the work to develop the required documentation for submission,” Sparks’ letter continued. “As we move toward this important change for our university, the university administration remains committed to abiding by the state rules and laws and IHL policies that govern all construction projects on our campus.”

Per the contract, once the plans are approved and a contractor is hired, the relocation process is expected to take 90 consecutive days.

The drawings can viewed here and the specifications can be viewed here.