Perk's 90-Year-Old Crumbling Infrastructure To Be Replaced

Students will be trying for A's but it seems the drainage system at the Perkinston campus has flunked out. However, $2.5 million in grant money should remedy that. Vice President for Administration Dr. Hal Higdon pointed out areas where collapsing pipe were causing roads to sink. The problem is all around campus, and is part of what school officials say is keeping the 90-year-old Perkinston campus off the road to progress.

"We have put on hold roadways, parking, dormitories," said Higdon. "It would make no sense for us to do all these things especially landscaping and sidewalks and lighting and then have to come back and dig it up."

For years maintenance crews have been using sand to fill in areas of the campus that have been sinking because of poor drainage, but now college officials are looking forward to a more permanent solution.

With the swipe of a pen at a signing ceremony, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College paved the way to replacing failing water, sewer, and storm water systems. Most of the money comes from a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers grant.

Lt. Col. Craig Wells said "The average grant is usually split at 50-50 percent. For the community college here to be able to get a 75-25 split is quite an accomplishment for them and it reflects very positively the staff here at the college."

With the upgrade, school officials are looking forward to focusing more on students needs and less on the maintenance headaches.

Higdon said "We don't have to worry about water outages, storm water overflowing, streets collapsing."

School officials say faculty and students should expect some major inconveniences in the coming months while the upgrades are underway. However, they say the end result will be well worth it.