By Alyssa Schnugg
A year after purchasing the former Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi building off South Lamar Boulevard, officials at the University of Mississippi are still contemplating how they will occupy the space.
The Institutes of Higher Learning Board approved the sale in June 2017 for the university to purchase the 15-acre location for $22 million.
The building has 428,000-square feet of space.
Baptist sold the building to Ole Miss after plans were in place to build its new regional facility a mile away from the former campus on Belk Boulevard. The new hospital opened in November 2017.
The university is now paying for the utilities of the building that sits empty.
“At this time, the university is continuing to develop a plan for building operations,” said Ryan Whittington, Ole Miss marketing and brand strategy director. “The university is excited about the quality and amount of space, which will benefit our students, staff and faculty. The additional space provides us with many options to consider and efforts are currently underway to determine which academic, research and support units should move to the new facility.”
The university is considering leasing a small portion of the building to Oxford LeapFrog program that has to move out of its current location at the former Central Elementary School when it gets torn down in January to make room for a new elementary school.
“They have approached us about leasing space and we are currently considering that request,” Whittington said recently.