MBA, arts facilities get OK from IHL

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 21, 2000

The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved on Thursday $16.5 million in capital improvements for Alcorn State University’s Natchez location.

Alcorn is asking for $10.5 million to furnish and build a 45,250-square-foot addition of the Masters of Business Administration building at the Natchez campus it shares with Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

It is also asking for $6 million to build a fine arts facility at the Natchez campus. The building would have arts classrooms and lab space for music students as well as an auditorium that could be used by the community as well as Alcorn and Co-Lin.

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If funding is granted this year, Alcorn President Dr. Clinton Bristow Jr. has said ground could be broken in 2001. The requests must now be approved by the Legislature, which probably will not consider the measures until April, Bristow said.

&uot;We were fortunate to have this approved,&uot;&160;Bristow said Friday. &uot;We’ve cleared a major hurdle, … and I&160;think it has very good support in the legislature as well.&uot;

&uot;We’re really pleased,&uot;&160;Ronnie Nettles, dean of Co-Lin’s Natchez campus, said of the IHL’s approval. &uot;It still has to pass the Legislature, but I&160;don’t see any resistance to it.&uot;

The Legislature approved $200,000 last year to fund preplanning of the projects. According to initial plans, the MBA building would include a lecture hall, two regular classrooms, two seminar rooms, three tiered case rooms, one large tiered classroom and one enhanced tiered room. A team has already been appointed to design more specific plans.

A group of Co-Lin, Alcorn and state building officials and project architects Dale and Associates recently toured the state last week to get ideas for the design of the fine arts facility. Architects should finish plans and cost estimates by early February.