Mississippi community college celebrates ongoing expansion

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PERKINSTON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is celebrating its expansion.

A ribbon cutting and groundbreaking were held earlier this week for two multimillion dollar facilities on the college’s campus in Perkinston.

The ribbon was cut Wednesday for the new student union and cafeteria. The $8 million student union can welcome up to 400 people in the public dining area and will give students new options each day on campus. But campus leaders plan to use it for a lot more.

“We just have not had that space in the past in our dining facility,” said MGCCC President Dr. Mary Graham. “So it opens the door, not only to do things in our college community, but to do things for our local community.”

In addition to the new student union, the campus welcomed a groundbreaking for its new multipurpose arena, WLOX-TV reported. Construction will soon begin on the arena and is slated to be completed in early 2022.

MGCCC began building new dorms on the Perkinston campus last year. The 57,000-square-foot (5295-square-meter) hall will feature 103 rooms, study rooms and updated amenities.

The sheer number of expansion projects has student athletes smiling.

“They have been really receptive, really excited about that,” Athletic Director Steven Campbell said. “So they see all the new cafeteria, the new dorms going online, and now we get a new basketball arena to add to the puzzle.”

Women’s Basketball Coach Hope Adams believes the new facilities will also help lure top talent.

“Kids want to see what you are doing,” she said. “Now I feel like we have a new dorm, we have a new cafeteria, and getting a new gym will basically take us to the next level so that we can get those top recruits.”

For Adams, the college’s expansion efforts are about creating a place students want to attend and feel at home doing so.

“I am a firm believer that when your athletics are doing well, then students want to go where athletics are doing well,” Adams said. “So that will make our attendance go up. Even though they have spent a lot of time building up athletics, it is also building up the entire college.”

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