TUPELO • Itawamba Community College formally opened its Academic and Student Center on its Tupelo campus during a dedication program and ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday.
College administrators, students and community members gathered in the lobby to celebrate the opening of the new “front door to campus.”
The 50,944 square-foot, two-story building cost around $14 million and includes a bookstore, cafeteria, business office, admissions office, financial aid office, advising center, conference room, 14 faculty offices and a 48-seat computer lab.
There are also 14 classrooms for social sciences, fine arts and business courses.
In addition to serving about 1,900 students at the Tupelo campus, all of ICC’s distance learning services are located there.
“So, in essence, we’re not just serving those physically that come here but serving them all around the world from this campus,” ICC President Dr. Jay Allen said.
Danny Robbins, past chairman of the ICC Board of Trustees, said the new building is “such an asset to ICC and the Tupelo campus.”
He added that it is in a convenient location for students, as Tupelo is a midway point for many of the counties ICC serves, which are Chickasaw, Itawamba, Lee, Monroe and Pontotoc.
ICC was established in Fulton in 1948. The Tupelo campus was organized in 1963 and relocated to its current location on Eason Boulevard in 1966.
In his welcome address, Allen called the building’s opening “one of the most significant occasions in the 71-year history of Itawamba Community College.”
Allen said he’s excited to begin moving faculty and staff into their new offices and see the building full of students in upcoming weeks.
Tommie Lee Ivy, president of the Lee County Board of Supervisors, called the building “a new testament” to the leadership of ICC.
“We appreciate the opportunity to provide support for the college to build an educational foundation for the workforce today and tomorrow and the years to come,” Ivy said.
The event concluded in front of the center with a ribbon cutting ceremony led by Allen, Ivy and members of the college’s Board of Trustees.
The ribbon cutting was followed by public tours of the facility for attendees.