JSU at the Palisades now available to students

Jackson State University added a significant student housing option this week when it assumed control of an apartment complex adjacent to the campus.

The university has leased a 444-bed facility on its southwestern edge for approximately $900,000 and will invest up to $1 million to upgrade the complex. JSU has an option for a second year but plans to buy the facility within the next 12 months.

Students began moving Friday into 96 beds that were available immediately at what is now known as JSU at the Palisades.

The university will manage the complex and attach the weight of the JSU brand. Cable and Internet will be available. Campus police is responsible for safety.

“This is a great option for our students,” said James C. Renick, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs.

“We have assumed all management responsibilities.  Our commitment is that all services offered to our students there — safety, customer service, living standards — will be consistent with the university’s brand,” Renick said.

The state College Board approved the lease on Thursday as well as other projects to address Jackson State’s enrollment growth.

The board approved JSU’s request to invest $47.3 million to build a 628-bed housing complex, a 650-seat dining hall and conference center.

This project is expected to come on line in about two and a half years, President Carolyn W. Meyers said.

“We are really excited about all of this,” Meyers said of the lease and the pending projects. “We are excited for our students because they will have more housing options. We also are excited that more and more students and families are embracing the tremendous opportunities that Jackson State University offers.”

Iely B. Mohammed, a retired JSU faculty member, said she is pleased the university now controls the complex. “This is a good thing. It’s close. It’s right across the fence. It was built for students. Students have lived there for years. This is logical.”

Jackson State’s campus housing is at capacity for the second consecutive year. Last fall the university leased a 240-bed motel across from the Mississippi Coliseum due to record fall enrollment.

That motel, which was renamed Tiger Plaza, was retained this year.