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July 15, 2004

ULM Celebrates Beginning of Renovation Project with "Building Bash"

The sound of bricks being bashed and falling to the ground could be heard at Sherrouse Hall today, where President of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, James Cofer, and other officials marked the official beginning of the campus renovation project.

Representatives from JPI, Regions Bank and ULM were all part of the festivities at the campus. Officials donned hard hats and safety goggles while hitting a brick sign with a sledgehammer in the parking lot of Sherrouse Hall. Cofer and others made remarks in commemoration of this event.

Cofer said, "Today we mark the official beginning of over $50 million in student housing on ULM's campus. The construction of new student housing, as important as it is, should not be seen in isolation. This is part of our larger effort to redesign the face of ULM's campus. Included in that effort are: incorporating a campus front on DeSiard Street with the original campus buildings, installing new smart classrooms across campus, creating a student success center in the middle of campus, and renovating Sandel Hall to make a one-stop shop for student services.

"All of these efforts serve our strategic aim to improve the learning environment and the living environment for our students. They are now, and must always be, our top priority," said Cofer.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe and Dallas-based JPI, one of the nation's leading student housing and luxury apartment companies, are beginning their student living project that will provide new apartment-and suite-style on-campus student housing. Select dorms will also be renovated.

"We are privileged to work with President Cofer and the staff at ULM. We are all working together to be sure students will have what they need and want in their new student housing. The new and renovated facilities will be exciting for students as they begin to see the campus revitalized," said Jim Truitt, JPI Campus Quarters Executive Vice President and Regional Partner. "JPI will offer ULM students a superior product with quality apartments, amenities and management."

Joey McGinn, President of Regions Bank - Northeast and North Central Divisions said, "We are proud to provide the financial resources which will lead ULM to a new era of excellence for students."

Demolition of Hudson Hall and Sherrouse Hall are making way for new Art Deco-style apartment buildings targeted to open in the fall of 2005. The suite ­style student living project that will replace Olin has occupancy planned for Spring 2006 and Monroe and Slater Halls will follow with occupancy planned for the Fall of 2006. JPI Campus Quarters is also providing comprehensive management services on an ongoing basis for ULM's entire on-campus housing program, which totals approximately 1,600 beds, and has already begun meeting with incoming freshmen as they make housing choices.

Along with the housing development, a centrally located park will be constructed on the western bank of Bayou DeSiard, featuring both an outdoor amphitheater and student recreation areas. ULM also has plans to renovate the Student Union Building and the Wig Wam.

JPI is one of the nation's largest fully integrated commercial real estate firms specializing in the acquisition, development, construction and management of residential communities. JPI also provides property management and leasing services for more than 21,000 apartment homes, including 20,000 student living beds. CEL & Associates, the nation's largest surveyor of resident satisfaction, has awarded JPI the National Multifamily Customer Service Award for Excellence for three years in a row. The 2003 National Association of Home Builders Pillars of the Industry Awards recognized two JPI student living communities among its finalists in the annual competition.

A total of seven ULM School of Construction alumni are working with JPI and are involved in the new ULM student housing.

Regions Bank, a community-focused bank with local leadership, currently offers full-service commercial and retail banking from more than 680 offices and some 800 ATMs across nine states in the South and Texas. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the bank, a part of Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE: RF), draws on the resources of its parent company to ensure that both business and retail customers can avail themselves of a full range of financial products and services in the areas of mortgage banking, securities brokerage and insurance. Additional information about Regions Bank, its sister bank Union Planters, and Regions Financial Corporation ­ a member of both the Forbes and Fortune 500 and one of the nation's Top 15 financial services providers ­ can be found at

View all news on the ULM's new student housing at

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