by: Claudia Brunson
The Robert and Dee Leggett Special Events Center, as it is formally known, is due for an upgrade this year following the commencement. The large conference room, located in the A. Boyd Campbell College Center currently serves minimal use to students, other than for events such as the annual student life awards, but the new construction project will turn that area of the Leggett Center where students come to hang out and relax or even study in small study groups.
The process of redesigning the Leggett Center has come with a few delays, with Einsteins Brothers Bagels pulling out of its contract just before construction was to begin on the new eatery. Still, Millsaps expects the entire renovation for the Leggett Center is expected to be completed within six to eight weeks so that when students return they can experience the new area designed specifically for students.
“The vision for the space has always been to create like a living- room type space for the students,” Matt Binion, director of student services and facilities said. “For many years students have voiced concerns about how there is really nothing for students afterhours or even in the afternoons that is a hang out space.”
Binion also explained that the only two hang out spaces on campus for students are either the library or the fraternity houses, which means that students are either studying or partying. Once the Leggett Center has been transformed, it will ideally be a vibrant, loud but not too noisy, and easy- going place for students. The new student center will also be equipped with ecofriendly carpeting, televisions, and music.
Funding for this project mostly comes from Millsaps’ contract plan with Aramark. Previously, in the past year Millsaps was granted loan money for the campus’ beautification, which has mainly gone toward new furniture throughout campus.
“The renovations are funded through our arrangements with Aramark so 80 to 90 percent of the renovation cost is coming from their commitment,” Binion said. “Some of the things that the college is paying for [are] the furnishings, and we are paying for the audio-visual needs of the space — so some of the things…are specific needs and issues for the students we want to make sure we are providing.”