PERKINSTON, Miss. (WLOX) - Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College is expanding and it has educators, students and administrators at the college excited.
A ribbon cutting and a ground breaking were held Wednesday for two different multi-million dollar facilities on the college’s Perkinston campus.
The ribbon was cut 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."
The new student union isn’t the only expansion project taking a step forward. Shortly after the ribbon cutting ceremony there, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for MGCCC’s new multipurpose arena.
The sheer number of expansion projects has student athletes smiling.
“They have been really receptive, really excited about that," said MGCCC Athletic Director Steven Campbell. “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.”
MGCCC Women’s Basketball Head Coach Hope Adams believes the new facilities will also be key in luring top talent to Perk.
“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 more than bringing home trophies. It is 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," said Adams. "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.”
Construction will soon begin on the new multipurpose arena and is slated to be completed in early 2022.
MGCCC began building the new dorms on the Perkinston campus last year. The 57,000 square-foot hall will feature 103 rooms, study rooms and updated amenities.