Co-Lin sees continued growth

Copiah-Lincoln Community College Board of Trustees met Thursday afternoon to approve new dormitory proceedings and a new ROTC program.

The completed design plans for the new women’s dormitory on the Wesson campus were presented to the board. The new dorm will house 56 beds and will cost approximately $4.5 million to complete.

President Ronnie Nettles said this allows the school to continue on the path to improve dormitories on campus, which has been a plan for many years. He said Co-Lin has relatively little debt on dormitories, so they would be able to afford the new building.

In addition to the low debt, for the past two years Co-Lin has received about $1 million in bonds from the state, which if put toward the dorm means the college would be responsible for a bond of $3.6 million. The college’s note would be between $207,000 and $240,000 every year for 20 to 25 years.

“We should have no trouble paying the note if we decide to move forward,” said Nettles. “We will not build the dorm without the state bond money.”

Nettles said dorms are revenue generators and the new building would bring approximately $100,000 each year. Since the construction of the new male dormitory, more students have been choosing to live on campus. It would also allow them to begin phasing out older dormitories that would not be cost-effective to renovate.

The board approved the resolution to investigate the plan allowing for certain expenses to move forward with no commitment.

The board also ratified the administration’s decision to begin Magnolia Gold on the Wesson campus in conjunction with the Mississippi Army National Guard.

Magnolia Gold will be the first ROTC program on the Wesson Campus. The college will be offering officer-training classes to students enlisted in the national guard.

Vice President of Instructional Services Jane Hulon said this is part of a nationwide effort to establish ROTC programs in community colleges, since there are already programs in both secondary education and on university campuses.

The classes will be offered for credit and the instructors are provided at the cost of the guard not Co-Lin.