New Co-Lin dorm named for chairman Bates

Published 9:27 pm Friday, December 2, 2011

To a standing ovation, Copiah-LincolnCommunity College board of trustees members approved the naming ofits newest dormitory after long-serving board member and boardchairman Eugene Bates Thursday evening.

    “This has got to be the most humbling experience I’ve had in mylifetime,” Bates said of the honor.

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    The dorm in question will house male honor students, with 28 roomsand space for 56 students. The $3.2 million facility was fundedwith state bond money and construction began in early summer with amid-October completion date originally eyed.

    Delays pushed construction of the 18,724-sq. ft. building on intoNovember, but Co-Lin President Dr. Ronnie Nettles reported to theboard Thursday evening that the building will be handed over to thecollege in mid-December. When the spring semester begins inJanuary, students will move into the dorm.

    The two-story facility replaces Ellzey Hall, an 83-year old dorm,which will now be retired. College officials are not yet certain asto its future use.

    The motion to honor Bates by naming the building after him camefrom Lynwood Easterling, who had worked with a committee to proposea name for the dorm.

    Easterling pointed to Bates’ 28 years of service on the Co-Linboard of trustees and his 10 years as board chairman.

    “Traditionally the board has recognized chairmen with buildingnames,” Easterling said.

    Bates’ father also served on the Co-Lin board, Nettles pointed out,and Bates said the building name will be of significance to hisfamily.

    “It will mean an awful lot to my family in the years to come afterI’ve passed from the scene,” Bates said.

    Nettles also reported to the board that he met with the state’sBureau of Building and Grounds concerning several new projects oncampus.

    “We’re looking to do a complete renovation in Ellis Hall andextensive work in Copiah Hall,” Nettles said.

    Ellis and Copiah are both dorms.

    “These are serious maintenance issues we must address,” Nettlessaid.

    Financing could come from a combination of bonds and money from theBureau of Building and Grounds and other sources, Nettles said.

    Dr. Jane Hulon, vice president of instructional services, alsoreported to the board Thursday that the college will have agraduation ceremony Dec. 15 at 11 a.m. This is the college’s secondyear to have a December graduation.

    Out of 110 graduates, 79 students will walk, said Natalie Davis,Co-Lin public relations director. That is an increase from lastyear, which saw 66 walk out of 85 graduates.