The math and science center is tucked between existing residence halls on the MMI campus. (Rendering courtesy of The Marion Military Institute)
One of Alabama's community colleges is about to get even better.
The Marion Military Institute (MMI), in the west-central community of Marion, consistently ranks among the top community colleges in the state of Alabama. MMI also is the nation's oldest military junior college.
Now, MMI is poised to construct a new math and science facility resulting from $35 million in federal Omnibus funding, due in large measure to U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, the former vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Signed into law at the end of December, the Fiscal Year 2023 funding bill will provide billions of dollars for projects across Alabama.
"With classroom space so limited, MMI is grateful to Sen. Shelby for helping provide funding which will allows us to expand our instructional support capabilities with a new state-of-the-art academic facility to house a robust STEM program that we expect will include the addition of course offerings in information technology, computer science, and cybersecurity," explained Col. David Mollahan, USMC (Retired), and the president of MMI.
According to a news release from the college, with its funding secure, MMI is ready to finalize building plans and a construction timeframe for the multi-million-dollar project designed to enhance the school's curriculum and solidify its relevance in higher education for years to come.
The new brick building will be constructed on the south side of the quadrangle between James W. Rane Hall and Lovelace Hall barracks, complimenting the classic architectural style of MMI's historic campus.
The Alabama News Network, made up of three TV stations in and around Montgomery, reported MMI's new math and science building has been a part of the school's master building plan since 2006.
"We have some basic concepts in terms of classroom sizes," Mollahan told the news outlet, "as well as the number of labs that we need, the kind of capabilities we need to have in terms of internet connections, and those sorts of things. And now that we have the money, we can start to refine that as we go through construction here in the Alabama Community College System."
Suzanne McKee, MMI's vice president for institutional advancement and chief of staff, called the school's latest building project "gratifying and exciting, and, for a campus that hasn't seen new construction in 30 years, to all at once have a new dining facility, new tennis courts, and now [to get] a new math and science building [is wonderful]."
Educating leaders since 1842, MMI enrolls a diverse population of both civilian and military-track students in an immersive environment. Currently, the college serves approximately 300 cadets.
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