Renovations to ICC’s Belden Center near completion

TUPELO – Itawamba Community College has a new showplace with its own showroom.
The two-year college, which two weeks ago announced it had paid $1.8 million for the former River Oaks furniture building in west Tupelo, expects to complete renovations to the facility in about five days.
“When you walk in the front door, it just looks warm and inviting,” said James Williams, ICC’s vice president of economic and community services.
An existing reception area featuring a curved desk with glass bricks is left over from the building’s furniture business days, as is the showroom with parquet floors, charming wainscoting and decorative fireplace.
“It’s elegant,” Williams said, noting that some of the original paint colors also were matched – one room is pumpkin – to give the building a non-institutional feel.
“We’re just working like bees, moving furniture and painting,” he said. “We’ve built it out significantly in the last two weeks since the announcement.”
When all is said and done, the 250,000-square-foot Belden Center will house the non-credit programs within ICC’s Economic and Community Services Division. They include Adult Basic Education, which will offer classes in the new space beginning Monday, the Workforce Investment Area, the WIN Job Center and the Mississippi Corridor Consortium’s Toyota training.
“This has been a dream, to have one stop” for work force development services, Williams said, noting the Belden Center is the result of the vision of President Dr. David Cole and the ICC board. “We just feel it will pay great dividends for the region.”
The project is the largest expansion in ICC’s 60-year history. Academic courses will remain at ICC’s Fulton and Tupelo campuses.

Contact Ginny Miller at (662) 678-1582 or

Ginny Miller/NEMS Daily Journal

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