JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – After winning $50,000 in the annual Home Depot Retool Your School project, Jackson State University (JSU) leaders announced the funds will be used for beautification projects on campus, including an outdoor study space.

After JSU’s second-place win, more than 400 students completed a campus survey seeking ideas for projects. The majority of them requested that an outdoor study space be developed because of concerns over COVID-19.

“Students felt that these funds would be best utilized for this purpose. Because of the ongoing pandemic, it is essential to provide outdoor spaces where students can socially distance,” said Heather Denné, Ph.D., director of JSU’s Community Engagement and the Metro Jackson Community Prevention Coalition.

In addition to landscaping, the beautification project also includes artwork.

“The mural completed by JSU Communications and art students really makes this space unique and brings a special touch only JSU can provide,” Denné said. “It adds an element of design and art that makes you say, ‘Wow. Thee I Love.’ ”