USM’s Marine Education Center’s state of the art facilities site has only been perched in Ocean Springs for a little over two years, but it’s already snared a national award.
The USM Education Center in Ocean Springs has been awarded one of only 10 awards granted nationwide each year by the American Institute of Architects or AIA. This also marks the first time this prestigious award has been granted in Mississippi.
Many different values are evaluated for this honor, including energy efficiency, ecological, social and economic values. Marine Education Center Associate Director Sam Clardy said, “It’s not only pretty to look at, but it’s an educational tool that we use every day to teach our students. We’re a great example of how you can be resilient in a coastal zone. We want to be an example going forward in the future across the state of Mississippi, throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Here’s a way you can build in a coastal hazard zone, be resilient, energy efficient, and environmentally friendly.”
Just one stand out feature: a pedestrian suspension bridge. It’s one of only two in the entire state of Mississippi.
Developers tell News 25 this bridge was necessary because there’s a very ecologically sensitive habitat below it.