12/28/05 — Building projects still on schedule at Mount Olive

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Building projects still on schedule at Mount Olive

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on December 28, 2005 1:52 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Construction of three new buildings at Mount Olive College is on schedule, college officials announced this week.

Work on the Pope Wellness Center has advanced the furthest, college President Dr. William Byrd said. Masonry work on the building is finished. When complete, the 23,500-square-foot facility will house the student health services, a fitness area, weight room, dressing rooms and an intramural sports center. A greenway with walking trails will be built adjacent to the structure.

Roof and masonry work on a communications center are also on schedule, Byrd said. Crews have begun laying brick on the as yet unnamed building. Its construction will enable the college to link its satellite campuses together with state-of-the-art technology, including video conferencing, video streaming and wireless networking. The center, built to be a companion building to the existing Moye Library, will provide a new and larger space to house Mount Olive's expanding special collections, among them the Free Will Baptist Collection. It also will house 49,000 additional books and documents to support the school's academic programs.

Work on the W. Burkette and Rose M. Raper Academic Building will double the college's current classroom space and house the School of Business, the Agribusiness Center and the Department of Science and Mathematics. Within the same two-story building will be a 500-seat conference center. The complex will offer students state-of-the-art facilities with modern classrooms and laboratories, providing resources to further develop business and science curricula and ultimately provide space for graduate education in business.

The 46,218-square-foot Raper Building is the largest of the three under construction. Byrd said that because of its size, progress on it has been the slowest. But college officials still expect it to be complete by its target date of July, he said.

Ground was broken in May for the three new buildings. To pay for their construction, supporters of Mount Olive College helped raise $23 million through a campaign that began in October 2000.

Rhonda Jessup, director of public affairs for MOC, said alumni and friends who want to keep up with the construction work on the three buildings can do so by visiting the college's Web site at www.moc.edu. The page contains a photo gallery of the construction.

She noted that supporters of the college still have the opportunity to have the names of loved ones attached to a building or to rooms and halls within them. Donating to help the school grow is a great way to honor the memory of a loved one, she said.

For more information about Mount Olive College's building program, contact the school's Office of Institutional Advancement at 1-800-653-0854.