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Finances spell delay for new coliseum

State budget uncertainty and other financial considerations willmean a coliseum project for Copiah-Lincoln Community College is onhold for the foreseeable future, said President Dr. HowellGarner.

“It is a non-issue right now,” Garner said Wednesday.

Co-Lin’s coliseum project was among several approved last weekby the State Board of Community and Junior Colleges for the state’stwo-year schools. Garner said the total cost for project, which ispart of a five-year plan Co-Lin submits every year, was estimatedin the $8 million to $10 million range.

Garner said school officials had hoped to build up bond issuerevenue over two years and combine it with local revenue to pursuethe project. He cited legislative uncertainty regarding bondingplans as one factor in postponing the project.

“We’re not doing anything until we know what they’re doing withthe bond money,” Garner said.

While voicing appreciation for current funding support levelsfrom district counties, Garner said Co-Lin also would not be ableget enough additional money to match the state revenue to pursuethe project. He said the coliseum would have helped the collegewhile providing areas for health-related activities and physicaleducation.

“We’re not going to be able to generate enough additionalrevenue from local sources in the near future,” Garner said.

While the SBCJC signs off on projects, the bonding processactually goes through the Department of Finance and Administrationand the Bureau of Buildings and Grounds. Once authorized by thoseagencies, Garner said entities have a designated amount of time tospend the state funds.

With the coliseum project off, Garner said Co-Lin’s planningcommittee would reconsider the school’s direction and what projectsmay be needed. He did not want to elaborate on possible newprojects.

Garner touted prior successes in handling other buildingprojects through the planning process.

“That has been real effective in the past in terms of whichbuildings were done,” said Garner, citing the InstructionalTechnology Building that opened last year as one example.