Tuesday’s dedication and ribbon cutting brought dozens of students, ordinary citizens and public officials to Booneville from the five-county region the college serves to help celebrate culmination of a five-year project.
The $9 million, 37,000-square-foot building has been open and serving students since the start of the spring semester in January.
“This project represents a community of people vitally interested in the future of Northeast,” said President Johnny Allen during the dedication ceremony. He described how a group with conflicting interests came to agreement on building a facility that has greatly improved customer service to students.
He also noted that there was broad consensus in naming the building in honor of board President Jack Ramsey, who has served the college for more than 25 years.
“Nothing I’ve done has been as rewarding as serving on this community college board,” Ramsey said. “When I first came to this campus in 1961 there were very few buildings. I’ve been honored to be part of the last three building projects, and I’m pleased that this building is a one stop center for so many services.”
Offices housed there include recruitment, admissions, financial aid, registrar, student housing, human resources, deans’ offices, the president’s office, conference rooms and much more. Members of the student government and Phi Theta Kappa honor society gave building tours to visitors following the ceremonies.
Buildings fully vacated when the Ramsey building opened include Stringer Hall, a Mississippi historical landmark, and Estes Hall.
“Stringer will be converted for use as a bookstore and distance learning center,” the president said, and Estes Hall will be demolished and a green space created with grass, trees and park benches.
The new plaza area in front of the Ramsey building includes open green space, a fountain and benches in what has already become a popular student area.
Some space was freed up in other buildings including Waller Hall, where coaches’ offices will be relocated, and Hargett Hall. Much of the space, Allen said, will return to student use as classrooms.