By Harriet Laird/MSU University Relations
STARKVILLE – With ground already broken around north campus’ Chadwick Lake, Mississippi State University is beginning construction of a walking and exercise track to provide additional health benefits for university employees, students and local community members.
The $497,000 project is part of the “MSU on the Move” health initiative, a collaboration of the University Health Service’s health education and wellness department and the Jackson-based Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation.
Noting the consistent patterns of recent late winter-early spring rains, project manager Bill Broyles said the MSU Division of Student Affairs is “so pleased construction finally has begun.
“This track will be a tremendous asset to both the university and surrounding communities in helping us all develop a healthier lifestyle,” the associate vice president for student services added.
Broyles said the .95-mile walkway will include a .80-mile concrete loop circling the lake, with an additional .15-mile exercise loop just north of the Sanderson Center.
The 6-foot-wide concrete trail will feature four primary access points: near the west-side boat launch, Bryan Athletic Administration Building’s east side, George Perry Boulevard’s east-side multi-use path, and varsity softball and tennis’ shared parking lot.
The project’s expected completion date is early fall. Weathers Construction Inc. of Columbus is general contractor.
“This construction project is another example of our excellent partnership with the BCBS Mississippi Foundation in a committed effort to promote health and wellness for the state,” said Joyce Yates, health education and wellness director for University Health Services.
Said Sheila Grogan, executive director of the BCBS of Mississippi Foundation: “Our investment in the MSU on the Move initiative is another component in our work to build a healthy Mississippi, and we’re excited to be part of providing students, faculty and the entire community with a great venue for exercise. We appreciate the university’s leadership in helping promote an environment of health and wellness for the Starkville area.”
Last year, the BCBS Mississippi Foundation awarded a total of $562,485 for the “MSU on the Move” program to promote a healthier culture throughout campus and the community.