Jackson is often considered a burgeoning city. The construction of a convention center was overwhelmingly approved on an election ballot and is scheduled to be completed within a decade. There are also plans to remodel part of downtown with the specific goal of enlivening local tourism. Local musicians, such as King Elementary and The Rockwells, have been gaining attention. Downtown’s Thalia Mara Hall attracts renowned tours, including jazz musician Winton Marsalis and popular musicals, such as The Full Monty and Miss Saigon. The city also offers tremendously diverse cuisine, from Greek to Japanese.
Some think the changes could potentially stimulate the capital are much belated—when the convention center is completed, Jackson will be the last U.S. capital to receive one. Looking just a few miles beyond the Jackson city limits, students will find a host of new restaurants and thriving new business ventures and shopping centers. P. F. Chang’s has made a big splash in Ridgeland, Mississippi’s ever-expanding Renaissance Colony Park Shopping Center. A short trip down Lakeland Drive will lead students to a host of outdoor mall-style shopping centers in the up-and-coming city of Flowood. Despite these developments, for reasons ranging from academic rigors to ineffective public transportation, many Millsaps students become increasingly insulated over their four years, causing the campus to be informally dubbed “the Millsaps Bubble.”