Mississippi College Breaks Ground on New 246-Bed Residence Hall

Tue November 10, 2020 - Southeast Edition
Tupelo Daily Journal

The 72,000-sq.-ft., three-story residence hall will have 246 beds with customizable halls/wings for separated male and female occupancy, as needed. It also will include two efficiency apartments and an apartment for the hall director.
The 72,000-sq.-ft., three-story residence hall will have 246 beds with customizable halls/wings for separated male and female occupancy, as needed. It also will include two efficiency apartments and an apartment for the hall director.
The 72,000-sq.-ft., three-story residence hall will have 246 beds with customizable halls/wings for separated male and female occupancy, as needed. It also will include two efficiency apartments and an apartment for the hall director. Forced inside by rain resulting from the approaching Hurricane Zeta, administrators, board members and local officials donned face masks and gathered beneath a large tent in the parking lot near Sheffield Hall to scoop ceremonial shovels of dirt.


Itawamba Community College (ICC) didn't let bad weather, or the COVID-19 pandemic stop the groundbreaking ceremony for a new 246-bed residence hall in late October at the Fulton, Miss., campus.

Forced inside by rain resulting from the approaching Hurricane Zeta, administrators, board members and local officials donned face masks and gathered beneath a large tent in the parking lot near Sheffield Hall to scoop ceremonial shovels of dirt.

"As you can see, today's ceremony is a bit different because of 2020 bringing not only COVID-19, but a record number of tropical storms, depressions and hurricanes which have impacted our weather with rain," ICC President Jay Allen told the crowd.

The 72,000-sq.-ft., three-story residence hall will have 246 beds with customizable halls/wings for separated male and female occupancy, as needed. It also will include two efficiency apartments and an apartment for the hall director.

Renovations near the building include improved parking lots, a safer pedestrian sidewalk to Sheffield Hall and a safer crosswalk across Main Street to the main campus. Approximately 70 parking spots will be added as part of the project, Allen said.

The new facility was designed by Pryor Morrow Architects in Columbus, Miss. The general contractor is WAR Construction Inc. of Tuscaloosa, Ala.

"It is our vision that this hall will be filled with leaders and scholars," Allen said. "We express appreciation to our board of trustees for their leadership and foresight to proceed with this much-needed project."

Chad Case, ICC's director of housing, said there is typically a waiting list for students who want to live on campus, and the college simply has not been able to accommodate them all.

He cited research showing that students who live on campus complete more credit hours, have higher GPAs, become more engaged with the campus community and show higher levels of development and self-esteem.

The new residence hall also will provide collaborative study areas and full-time staff will be on hand to assist students in growing socially and academically, Case said.

ICC's enrollment rose slightly even during the pandemic, Allen said, signaling that the college is on the right path despite setbacks caused by COVID-19.

"We know that this is a moment in time, and it will pass, so we've got to be prepared for that down the road," Allen said. "We are looking well beyond just today with this project. It will serve as a state-of-the-art residence hall, one that will make our college, our county, our district and our state proud."

Initial planning for the as-of-now unnamed residence hall began approximately two years ago. It will be the first dormitory constructed on campus since Itawamba Hall opened in 2010.

The ICC board of trustees approved bonding of $20 million for the project through Raymond James Financial and the Mississippi Development Bank, with the assistance of Butler Show Law Firm.

Construction is expected to be completed in time for students to move into the building in fall 2022.

Forced inside by rain resulting from the approaching Hurricane Zeta, administrators, board members and local officials donned face masks and gathered beneath a large tent in the parking lot near Sheffield Hall to scoop ceremonial shovels of dirt.