VICKSBURG – Hinds Community College and its supporters in local government and the business community in Vicksburg broke ground Wednesday, Oct. 11 on a 40,000-square-foot Academic & Career-Technical Building at the Vicksburg-Warren Campus which promises to transform both the campus and the community.
“We are so proud to break ground on a new multistory building for the campus,” said Marvin Moak, vice president for the Vicksburg-Warren Campus, during a ceremony marking the start of construction. “It’s been more than 25 years since we last broke ground here on the Vicksburg Campus.
The two-story facility will house 10 classrooms, eight training labs, administrative offices, meeting space and a multipurpose room. Two parking lots and a bus drop-off are also proposed as part of the project, plus an access road to connect parking spaces to the existing parking area.
Dr. Clyde Muse credited the Warren County Board of Supervisors for making the proposed building a reality, as well as numerous other figures who helped develop the campus since it opened in 1975. That list included former campus dean Joe Loviza, former state representative and chancery clerk Mark Chaney and former Vicksburg-Warren School District superintendent Donald Oakes, also a member of the college’s Board of Trustees.
“When we mentioned to them the need for additional educational facilities and something that would provide needed economic development opportunities for Warren County, they gave us a good listening ear,” Muse said. “It will provide a way in which our people can train to get better jobs.”
Funding the $13 million project is an additional 1.4 mills to an existing property tax in Warren County. Offsetting the cost for the college will be the usage of federal and state New Markets Tax Credits, which will generate a $4.5 million subsidy for the college to appropriately furnish the building with equipment and technology.
A new home to academic and career-tech students under one roof is but another reason to succeed for students in River City Early College, which exposes high school students to college-level coursework, including career-tech fields.
“We have amazing people,” said Chad Shealy, superintendent of the Vicksburg-Warren School District and also a member of the college’s Board of Trustees. “If there’s one thing about Vicksburg that’s unique – we are full of incredible people. When you put us all together, we’re amazingly powerful.”
Shealy noted the importance of the start of construction in light of the college’s Centennial celebration. “I think it’s very appropriate for our Centennial celebration, with the theme about community service, for us to be breaking ground on something that will forever change the face of the Vicksburg community.”
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