ICC will raise funds for allied health facility

TUPELO – Itawamba Community College kicked off a campaign Friday to raise $12 million to build an allied health training facility on the school’s Tupelo campus.
ICC President David Cole announced the campaign during a legislative luncheon that the school hosted at its Belden Center.
The school’s nine allied health programs are currently spread across its three campuses, with six on the Fulton campus, two on the Tupelo campus and one at the Belden Center.
“We’re bringing them together not only for efficiency of facilities and staff, but also for the benefit of students,” Cole said. “Their classes will now be close to the medical complex in Tupelo where they will do their clinical rotations.”
Cole said the 80,000-square-foot facility will cost $20 million, including equipment, and will be built next to the Lee County Schools Central Office near Veterans Drive. About half of that money already has been raised and the school will seek the rest in the three-year campaign that Cole announced Friday.
Cole said he expects the college to award a contract in February and that construction will take 18 to 24 months.
Cole made the announcement to members of the media after the community college was presented a $3,000 check from Walmart to the ICC Foundation. That money will be used for the new fundraising campaign.
The check was presented to Cole by state Rep. Preston Sullivan and state Sen. Jack Gordon, in whose names the donation was made.
“Itawamba Community College is our crown jewel of Northeast Mississippi,” Gordon said. “It is doing more to educate and retrain than any entity in Mississippi, but especially in Northeast Mississippi.”
Sullivan said it is important to train tomorrow’s health care professionals.
“Dr. Cole has been masterful about funds and about where to put them,” Sullivan said. “Health care has always been important but it is something that is growing.”
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@djournal.com.

Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal