Coulter Hall, Johnson Commons at Ole Miss to see upgrades

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – The University of Mississippi will undertake a $15 million expansion of one of its most visible academic and research buildings and a $1.7 million renovation of one of its oldest conference spaces.
Coulter Hall is the 85,000-square-foot headquarters for the Department of Chemistry and was built in 1977 and renovated in 2009. It contains laboratories, a machine shop and a glass-blowing shop. It is connected to the Thad Cochran Research Center.
Coulter will have a four-story, 30,000-square-foot addition built onto its east side, facing Fraternity Row. Research scientists currently located in Coulter are expected to move into that expansion, after which the space they vacate will be renovated into undergraduate chemistry labs.
An expansion of the building’s north facade, toward the Grove, will include a 200-seat auditorium, food service facility and other academic and support space.
Johnson Commons, built in 1929, houses “The JC,” Ole Miss’ main cafeteria, along with offices. Its east end, however, houses both offices and a ballroom that faces the Quad, providing one of the campus’ most picturesque meeting spaces.
Johnson Commons East “has seen significant deterioration from moisture infiltration through the building envelope,” according to the university’s request to the Board of Trustees, Institutes of Higher Learning.
The work will include new roofs, brick and stone restoration, resealing, window restoration, removal and replacement of damaged materials, and new carpet, ceilings and light fixtures. It will also correct below-ground moisture infiltration.
The university’s repair and renovation funds will pay for both projects.
errol.castens@journalinc.com