New fitness center work in final stage

Published 5:00 am Monday, June 9, 2008

WESSON – The fitness center project that has been under way nowfor several months at Copiah-Lincoln Community College is close tocompletion, officials said at Thursday’s Board of Trusteesmeeting.

Buildings and Grounds Chairman Dr. Melton King and PhysicalPlant Director Daryl Jordan updated the board on the progress ofthe project, saying it shouldn’t be much longer before there willbe a viable facility in place.

King said the sheet rock on the project is completely done andthe carpet is ready to be installed. Jordan said the project ishopefully finally in its homestretch.

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“We hope it’ll be done in just a few more weeks,” Jordan said.”It’s been a long, drawn-out process.”

Public Relations Director Natalie Davis said the fitness centerproject has encountered some obstacles, but seems to be back ontrack.

“They initially tried to do this early in the year, but we gotbehind schedule,” she said, adding that some of the wait came whenconstruction crews were waiting on materials to come in.

There were also slowdowns at times because Co-Lin was using someof its own staff to do some of the work, and then contracted outsome of the end work.

“They’ve approved the ordering of the equipment to go in there,”Davis said. “I would assume it will be in there pretty quickly,probably within the next month.”

But, Davis said, the facility will be finished in time for thenew school year, barring unforeseen problems.

In other board discussions, the American Legion Boys Stateprogram at Co-Lin this summer was a success as usual, schoolofficials said.

College President Howell Garner said a number of governmentspeakers were present during the week, such as Attorney General JimHood and Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant.

“This is one of the things that is really good for the college,”Garner said. “I meet people all over the state, and when Co-Lincomes up, a lot of them say, ‘I was there for Boys State.'”

Garner said there were around 240 participants in the week-longleadership camp held last week. He commended college faculty andstaff for being able to pull things together so well for theevent.

“Our staff is to be commended for the work they do,” he said.”This takes a little work on our part.”

In addition, the board was updated on a change in the machinetool operation program, which has been evaluated over the lastyear. It will now be called the “machine shop technology” programand will include the air-conditioning program.

Dean Ronald Nettles said teachers and local employers said theprogram is an important one. With all the upgrades in technology,officials said finding someone qualified to teach the course isimperative.

“The key is to find capable instruction,” Nettles said. “To finda person who is already capable of running the new equipment.”

Part of upgrading the course will also be gradually investing inequipment needed to teach students by current standards, Nettlessaid.

“This is an expensive program, and it will cost us some moneydown the road,” he said.

The board also praised the 32-15 Co-Lin Lady Wolves softballteam, who won the state and regional championship for the secondtime in three years. They also placed second in the National JuniorCollege Athletic Association National Tournament.

Garner also praised coach Allen Kent for bringing home Coach ofthe Year honors for Region 23.

“He has done a great job with these young women, and he deservesall the credit,” he said.