By MATT CRANE
Continuing their work on the multi-year landscaping project, Mississippi State University students and faculty from both the architecture and landscape architecture departments installed a green roof on the new pavilion outside the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum Friday.
Landscape architecture assistant professor Cory Gallo said Chicago-based company Hydrotech and Jackson’s Malone Roofing Company donated various materials for the roof’s installation as students put finishing touches to the structure Friday.
“We’re putting in the gravel along the maintenance edge and planting seeds and grasses shipped from a nursery in Atlanta, Ga.,” he said. “We wanted to improve the grounds of the museum as well as conduct a series of demonstration projects on better ways to manage rain water, and a green roof is one technique for that.”
Gallo said the highly collaborative process has allowed for a unique contribution to the Starkville area, offering a myriad of benefits.
“A green roof provides some habitat and makes the environment cooler because it’s not tar from the roof radiating heat, and it helps slow down and absorb rain water,” he said. “There are a lot of cities in the U.S. where this is much more prevalent, so this is really the first of anything like this around here.”
Describing the months-long construction process as a complete team effort between the architecture department and museum officials, Gallo said he is excited about the project’s final plans and looks forward to a grand opening in the spring.
“We have some donations for LED lighting that we’ll be putting up next semester as well as redoing the parking lot,” he said. “We’ll do a grand opening celebration in the spring when the weather is better. It all feels very good and we’ve made a lot of progress.”
For more information about the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum, visit http://www.oktibbehaheritagemuseum.com  or call 662-323-0211.