03/01/05 — MOC awarded 5.68 million dollar building loan

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MOC awarded 5.68 million dollar building loan

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on March 1, 2005 1:49 PM

Sen. Elizabeth Dole has announced that the Mount Olive College Foundation will receive a $5,685,000 federal loan to help with the construction of three campus buildings.

The money will come from money the U.S. Department of Agriculture makes available for rural development.

"Having a high quality and accessible college is so important to the economic development of a community," Sen. Dole said in a press release. "Not only is the college itself a major employer, but it also helps educate the local workforce for existing and new jobs.

"I commend Mount Olive College for continuing to secure the funding necessary to expand its campus and better serve its students, faculty and surrounding community."

College President William Byrd was pleased to hear that the Department of Agriculture is going to help the foundation fill in the financial gap in its building plan.

"Now we can go forward without having to change our plan," said Byrd, who said he hopes construction can begin by the middle of this month. "We're delighted to be able to continue our positive relationship with the USDA."

The buildings are an academic building, which will house the schools of business and mathematics, an agribusiness center, a communications center with two teleconferencing facilities, and a wellness center that will provide activities for both the college and community.

Increases in the cost of steel and concrete have made the costs of constructing the new buildings at the college jump higher than the foundation had anticipated, said its president, George Kornegay.

Kornegay said the cost projections for the project had been made before the cost increases. The foundation knew early on that it would affect the cost of the building project, he said

"We knew it would probably be more than we anticipated, but we were hoping it wouldn't be this much," he said. "But that's life."

He said he thinks everybody working in the building project is excited to see the project coming to fruition. He added, "We're indebted to the USDA for approving the money for these three buildings."