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Co-Lin ‘builds for future’ with new student dorms

WESSON — Building for the future was the theme Wednesday asCopiah-Lincoln Community College and area officials broke ground ontwo new men’s honors dormitories.

Dr. Olon Ray, executive director of the State Board of Communityand Junior Colleges, said the new dorms reflect the college’s andthe community’s level of care and the priority they place oneducation.

“We are building for the future. We are building for the nextgeneration,” Ray said.

Dr. Howell Garner, Co-Lin president, said Wednesday’s event waslargely ceremonial in that construction is well under way. Anearlier ground breaking was postponed due to inclement weather.

“We are very excited about this project and look forward toadding to two more men’s dormitories,” Garner said.

Officials stressed that the $1.327 million project is beingpursued with capital improvements funds from Co-Lin’s supportingcounties and not state funds. Garner said the funds and otherassistance from Lincoln, Copiah, Lawrence and Franklin counties wasvery important.

“They were very instrumental in helping us prepare this sitethat the dorms will be on,” Garner said.

Architect Carl Nobles said the dorms will be low-rise two-storystructures with 16 double-occupancy rooms each, which will beenough to house 64 students. Small parking areas will be located atthe ends of the buildings, which were designed to be residential inappearance in an effort to blend in with the neighborhood at thenorth end of the campus.

The scheduled completion date is Oct. 30.

Garner and Eugene Bates, chairman of the Co-Lin Board ofTrustees, said the Spring 2003 semester will be the first time thenew dorms will be used. Residency requirements have not beenfinalized, but school officials said students will likely have tomaintain a 2.5 to 3.0 grade point average (GPA) to live in the newdorms.

“These honors dorms will be home to some of the brightest mindsin our community,” Bates said.

Garner said the dorm project was the first time Co-Lin used aconstruction manager to oversee work activity, as opposed to theschool dealing directly with a contractor. Through a goodpartnership with Paul Jackson and Son, Inc., Garner said theconstruction process is more efficient and has saved money.

Paul W. Jackson, construction manager, applauded the partnershipas another example of good Co-Lin leadership and innovation.

“We have worked hand-in-hand on budget, quality and scheduling,”Jackson said.

Dist. 92 Rep. Dr. Jim Barnett said he was proud of Co-Lin andsupervisors for their commitments to construct the new dorms. Herecalled his father’s words about the importance of communitycolleges and that without them, many people would not have accessto a college education.

“I’m so proud of Co-Lin and all the other community colleges andwhat they’re doing,” Barnett said.