MDOT building dedicated for former Speaker McCoy

By Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press

JACKSON — Officials on Friday dedicated the Mississippi Department of Transportation headquarters in downtown Jackson as the William J. “Billy” McCoy Building.

The name honors a former speaker of the state House.

The Democrat from Rienzi served in the House from January 1980 until January 2012 and was the chamber’s presiding officer for the final eight years of his career. He was instrumental in passing a major highway program in 1987.

About 100 people attended Friday’s ceremony. McCoy was there with his wife, their children and five grandchildren.

The 2011 Legislature voted to name the MDOT building for McCoy and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency building for Republican Gov. Haley Barbour. The MEMA building was dedicated in January, before Barbour left office at the end of his second term.