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Co-Lin trustees hear plans for new projects

The sounds of student life could soon be competing with theechoes of heavy machinery and other construction at Copiah-LincolnCommunity College’s Wesson campus.

At Thursday’s meeting, the school’s board of trustees discussedreplacing the Mullen Gymnasium bleachers and received a report onbids for a new men’s dormitory.

Nine proposals, all within the same price range, were submitted forthe project. The highest bid was $3.7 million and the second lowestwas roughly $3,000 under the best bid of $3.1 million, said collegepresident Dr. Ronnie Nettles.

“A little more than I had hoped for,” said Nettles while discussingthe construction bids.

Nettles said school officials were thinking in terms of a bidcloser to $2.9 million. Offering the lowest bid on the project wasColeman Hammons Construction Co. Inc.

The state Bureau of Buildings and Grounds and Real PropertyManagement must certify the bid award before the project can begin,which school officials hope will be soon. A 270-day contract periodwould allow the new dorm to be constructed by next school year, butweather and other variables could impact that timetable.

The new residence hall is expected to face Mission Hill Road and belocated near the softball field. A discussion on the new building’sname is expected at next month’s meeting, Nettles said.

In related matters, basketball enthusiasts and frequent visitors ofthe Mullen Gymnasium could also possibly see an update to thefacility, said Nettles. Trustees authorized the administration torequest bids to replace the gym’s bleachers.

School officials said the original seating, from 1976, is missinghandrails and made of wood and could pose potential safetythreats.

“I’m concerned someone might slip through,” Nettles said.

The college began phase one of restoring the gym last month whenthe gym’s playing surface was refinished.

It was also reported that the Mississippi State Board for Communityand Junior Colleges has recommended the college’s Practical NursingProgram for full accreditation. Administrators addressed twoenrollment and faculty issues cited during a previous visit and theprogram is now accredited for eight years.

Board members seemed not only pleased with the updates to thecollege, but with the number of enrolling students they hope willbe able to take advantage of the upcoming changes.

Preliminary headcount enrollment for the fall is 4,047, accordingto a report made during the meeting. The number ranks 15th in thestate and is higher than three Mississippi universities.

“Our enrollment is looking good,” said board member Thelma Newsome.”When students move in, it makes us feel good that we’recontributing to our communities.”