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Co-Lin gets $432K in third phase of a wellness grant

Copiah-Lincoln Community College will receive a nearly half a million dollar grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation in the third phase of a wellness grant.

This grant, for $432,950, is the third Co-Lin has received from the foundation. The community college received one in 2010 for $110,000 and another in 2015 for $238,000.

“Blue Cross has been very generous over the past few years,” said Stephanie Duguid, dean of academic instruction. “The application process on this third phase of the grant took over a year to get through, so we’re very excited to have been selected.”

In 2010, the college used the money to resurface the track around the football field. They also put stretching equipment on the campus nature trail.

In 2015, the second phase grant money was used to create an employee-only fitness center and expand the student fitness center. They also included healthy activities each month on campus, such as walks to support specific events. A yoga class on campus was also started.

Duguid said they started seeing a culture change during phase two.

Now that Co-Lin has been selected for the third phase, administrators plan to grow projects already in place.

“We plan on bringing on a nutritionist/personal trainer that will offer services to students and employees. We will also host a men’s health event once a semester and we will also be sending out quarterly challenges and health tips electronically,” said Duguid.

The main project will be renovating the cafeteria.

According to Duguid, Blue Cross Blue Shield typically doesn’t approve major facility changes, but she said they felt like this project would make a major impact.

“We’re going to concentrate on having healthier options in our cafeteria. We will be revamping the deli and salad bar,” Duguid said. “We’re also going to have a community garden on campus.”

The grant’s timeframe for use is Oct. 7 through Dec. 31 of next year. A check will be presented from BCBS of Mississippi Foundation Oct. 5 before the Co-Lin football game.