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Co-Lin building receiving repairs

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History considers Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Ewing Administration Building to be a historical landmark, which can make performing renovations difficult.

Co-Lin’s Board of Trustees previously approved to accept a $100,000 grant from the MDAH to replace the roof of the building. After a lengthy debate at Thursday’s board meeting and some opposition, the board approved to sign MDAH’s stipulation that if Co-Lin is granted the money, it must maintain the building for the next 25 years.

“The Ewing Administration Building is in the process of having renovations done through grant money that we’ve received, but this property is designated as a Mississippi landmark. Therefore, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History is requiring a preservation and maintenance covenant be signed,” board member Melton King said. “In this covenant agreement, it’s basically — we’re admitting that it’s a Mississippi landmark and therefore the Mississippi Department of History has some jurisdiction. Basically, it’s a routine matter, as it’s been explained to me.”

“What this is saying is that the college will commit to keeping the Ewing building repaired for at least the next 25 years,” board attorney John Henley said. “So there is a commitment, financial commitment that the college is making. It’s probably a commitment that the college would be making regardless of whether or not it was considered a historical building. It’s still a good building. It’s not one you would anticipate not still being used 25 years from now, but you are making a financial commitment to keep the Ewing building in good repair.”

The current roof repair to the building is estimated to cost $300,000, Co-Lin President Ronnie Nettles said. The rest of the funds used to pay for the repair will be drawn from other grant money the college previously set aside, he said.

Opposition to signing the covenant came from board members concerned about how much oversight the MDAH would have over future renovations.

Henley said whether the covenant is signed or not, the MDAH would still have a say in renovations to the building because it has been deemed a Mississippi landmark. The agreement just takes their oversight slightly further, he said.

Modified class schedule

Vice President of Instruction Services Jane Hulon reported to the board that Co-Lin’s Wesson campus has decided to implement a modified four-day schedule in some academic areas, including the career and technical programs, but not all.

“As we discussed at the most recent board meeting, the Wesson campus had been investigating the possibility of offering classes on a modified format,” Hulon said. “After much effort was made by many individuals, it was determined that at this time, this format can be implemented in some areas in the fall, but not in all areas. Therefore, some of our career and technical programs will be allowed to make the adjustment on their schedules, according to the new format, but we just need a little more time to study in the other areas for the future.”

“There are only certain programs that it works really well with. For example, we already knew things like cosmetology and the health related ones — they could never have gone to a four-day schedule anyway,” Nettles said.

Hulon said classes will still be offered on Fridays and some of the modified schedule courses may have labs on Fridays as well.

In other board business:

• Board Chairman Eugene Bates appointed Steven Ammann, Chuck Gilbert, Johnny Pyles, Roy Winkworth and Willie Harrison to the 2016 Budget Committee.

• Bates appointed Tommy Sasser, Roy Winkworth, Tammy Fairburn, Steven Ammann, Rickey Clopton, Melton King and Barry Tyson to a committee to develop a president’s contract for Nettles.

• Nettles reported on the Early College High School Memorandum of Understanding at the Natchez campus, saying there are still many questions to be answered, but that the financial aspect of the program is being discussed.

• Nettles reported that the preliminary cohort loan default rate for the 2013 fiscal year dropped by 4 percent for Co-Lin students based on a study the college has implemented through an outside company.

• Nettles reported that Troy Greer was picked as Co-Lin’s Mississippi Community and Junior College Sports Hall of Fame selection.