Ellisville, MS - More than $416,000 in a Transportation Alternative Project or TAP grant was officially awarded to Jones County Junior College for a campus improvement and safety project. The money will be used to convert an area of College Drive, in front of the C.L. Neill Student Center into a pedestrian corridor.
“It’s a campus beautification project connected with enhancing the safety of one of the main drives through the campus,” said JCJC president, Dr. Jesse Smith. “The purpose of this project is to create a pedestrian plaza where students can go in between classes and not be put in harm’s way crossing a busy street. Additionally, it’s an area we’re able to access some federal funds with Commissioner King’s guidance through the TAP program.”
Eighty-percent of the project or $416,399 will be paid with federal funds, through the TAP grant. The other 20-percent of the project or $104,099 will be paid by JCJC, for a total of $520,498 for the pedestrian corridor project.
(Pic) MDOT Southern District Commissioner Tom King presented the Transportation Alternative Project grant check to JCJC officials recently. (Pictured left to right) Pictured receiving the grant check are Neill Schaeffer consultant Russ Bryan, Jones County Junior College President Dr. Jesse Smith, MDOT Southern District Commissioner Tom King and JCJC Director of Campus Operations, Michael Bradshaw.
“It’s an honor for me to be able to present this grant to JCJC,” said MDOT Southern District Commissioner Tom King. “I think it will do a great job as far as esthetics. It’s going along College Drive making it a corridor or pedestrian walkway.”
College officials received the federal grant money from Southern District Transportation Commissioner, Tom King earlier in August. However the process began months ago, with JCJC’s Director of Campus Operations, Michael Bradshaw applying for the grant and developing the proposal. For the next year, Neill Schaeffer’s consultants, architects and engineers along with Bradshaw, will draw up the detailed plans and receive construction bids for the project.
“We hope by the summer of 2016, after graduation in May we will begin construction. The majority of the heavy machinery work should be completed by the time students return for the fall semester,” said Dr. Smith.
(Pic) The new pedestrian corridor will be constructed in front of the C.L. Neill Student Center and just past the marquee sign to A.B. Howard Gymnasium.
The proposed improvements will consist of brick pavers, seat walls, scored concrete, landscape improvements and removable bollards with the JCJC logo in the center of the plaza. The existing campus marquee sign at the intersection of College Drive and Dan Jones Memorial Drive will remain. Once construction begins, the project is estimated to take 18-months to complete.
“The Mississippi Department of Transportation is proud to partner with JCJC on this important pathway project on campus,” said Commissioner King. “Projects like this one greatly improve the quality of life on college campuses and we are honored to assist with making this project a reality.”
In the future, JCJC may extend the corridor on College Drive to the end of the Hutchison-Hubbard Administration Building and A.B. Howard Gymnasium area and on Dan Jones Memorial Drive, behind the Terrell Tisdale Memorial Library to the Humanities Center.