04/29/04 — Mount Olive College gets $10 million loan

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Mount Olive College gets $10 million loan

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on April 29, 2004 2:07 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College will be able to get started sooner on its ambitious expansion project.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole announced in a statement that the Mount Olive College Foundation will receive a $10 million loan from U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The money will be used to construct an academic building, a communications center and a wellness center. Earlier this month, the college launched a campaign to raise $23 million, the biggest initiative the 53-year-old institution has ever undertaken to raise money.

"I commend Mount Olive College for securing the funding to expand its campus and better serve its students, faculty and surrounding community," said Mrs. Dole. "Having a high quality and accessible college is so important to the economic development of a community. Not only is the college itself a major employer, but it also helps educate the local work force for existing and new jobs."

The academic building that will be constructed will house the School of Business, the School of Mathematics and the Agribusiness Center. The communications center will provide modern communications and technological resources, including two teleconference facilities for the college, community and businesses. The wellness center also will serve both the college and the community.

Dr. William Byrd, college president, said the loan will provide the money to start construction at the college. He doesn't know the details of the loans yet.

He has been told the loan will have a 40-year term, and the interest rate is going to be "very good."

"This is terrific news," he said.

The program is similar to the loan received last year by Duplin County to build an agribusiness complex and multi-purpose arena at Duplin Commons, where work has finally begun. Byrd said he hopes construction can start at the college around the end of this year or the first of next year.

The college hasn't received official notification about the loan, which will be to the college foundation.

George Kornegay, president of the Mount Olive College Foundation, said he has been notified that at 11 a.m. on May 11 in the Hennessee Room of the Murphy Center, USDA officials will announce the details at the college.