04/07/05 — Construction starts on MOC building project

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Construction starts on MOC building project

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 7, 2005 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Heavy equipment rolled onto the Mount Olive College campus this week to begin construction on the most ambitious building project in the college's 54-year history.

Construction bids were opened at the end of January for the Communications Center, the Academic Building and the Wellness Center. The MOC Foundation chose R. L. Casey, Inc. of Greensboro as contractors for all three buildings, which carry a price tag of $15.6 million.

Officials with Casey have said that both the Academic Building and the Communications Center will be complete by July 1, 2006, with the Wellness Center expected to be finished by September 2006. The July 1 completion date will allow college officials time to move into the academic buildings ahead of the start of fall classes.

The new academic complex will double the college's current classroom space and house the School of Business, Agribusiness Center, and Department of Science and Mathematics. Within the same two-story building will be a 500-seat regional conference center. It will offer students state-of-the-art facilities, college officials say, with modern classrooms and laboratories, providing resources to further develop business and science-oriented curricula and ultimately provide space for graduate education in business.

College officials say the Communications Center will enable the college's five locations to function as a single institution through video conferencing, video streaming, and wireless networks. Planned as a companion building to the existing Moye Library, the center will provide a new and larger space to house the ever-expanding special collections, among them the Free Will Baptist Collection. It will also enable the college to accommodate 49,000 additional library volumes.

The Wellness Center, a 23,500-square-foot facility, will house student health services, an aerobics and cardio fitness area, an expansive weight room with free weights and weight machines, dressing rooms, and an intramural sports center. The wellness program will include exercise testing and prescriptive fitness programs, personal fitness plan development, stress management activities and seminars, general health screenings and health fairs and a greenway with walking trails.

"I have no doubt that these new structures will greatly expand our capacity to serve our students, employees and region," said Dr. J. William Byrd, the president of Mount Olive College. "They will position the college to consolidate and continue the robust growth that it has experienced in recent years. We are grateful for the strong support from the Mount Olive College Foundation, the USDA Rural Development and many friends who have pooled resources to make this project a reality."

A ceremony in recognition of the start of the project will be held at 2:30 p.m. on May 4 behind Moye Library.