Alcorn prepares campus for upcoming fall semester

With the fall 2020 semester quickly approaching, Alcorn State University is working to prepare the campus for returning and new students.

Multiple construction projects are underway on Alcorn’s main and Natchez campuses in time for the fall semester. Improvements from updated facilities to new classroom buildings are being prepared for the University’s community.

“The University has a variety of campus construction and improvement projects going on this summer in preparation for the fall semester,” said Jeff Posey, associate vice president of Facilities Management at Alcorn. “University personnel and outside contractors are being utilized to handle a variety of tasks associated with getting the campus ready for occupancy, including dormitory cleaning, painting, and floor polishing and waxing. Floors will be waxed in dormitory rooms, rooms will be repainted as necessary, and shower rooms will be sanitized and cleaned using hot steam and specialized disinfectants.

To ensure safety due to new health guidelines, Facilities Management is implementing a deep cleaning of buildings and dormitories.

“In light of COVID-19, there will be extra precautions taken in the dormitories to ensure cleanliness and student safety. Hot steam is one of the most powerful defenses against germs, dirt, and grime, and the University has contracted with a stream cleaning company to utilize hot steam to clean all shower rooms in the classic dormitories and all locker rooms at the Whitney Complex,” said Posey.

The Department of Residence Life is gearing up for several capital expenditure projects that will feature new furniture in common living spaces in the Medgar Wiley Evers Heritage Village. The furniture will arrive this summer shortly before the fall 2020 move-in day. The Department is also working to phase out carpeting in the Village to replace it with tiling. Updates to the communal bathrooms in all of the traditional residence halls will soon be underway.

Janelle Watts, Alcorn’s new director of Residence Life and Housing, looks forward to the project. She believes that construction and new furniture will breathe new life into the dormitories.

“The Department is excited to announce this series of projects that are designed to enhance the quality of living for our residents,” said Watts. “We believe that students will enjoy the enhancements and resources that these projects will provide for them.”

Another project that has been in development is the $23.2 million Technology Classroom Building Project. Posey gave details on what the building will offer to its students, faculty, and staff.

“This project has made great progress over the summer,” said Posey. “The building will house a 400-seat auditorium, lecture halls, classrooms, computer labs, and faculty offices. The auditorium foundation has been formed, and the foundation work has been done for both floors of the building. The project is anticipated to be complete in January 2021.”

The University plans to use the new technology fees to enhance WiFi access, upgrade and equip classrooms with state-of-the-art instructional technology, and acquire technologies that support improved efficiencies for students. The fees will also provide enhanced emergency call boxes, software resources and upgraded student networking laboratories.

Dr. Cornelius Wooten, senior vice president of Finance and Administrative Services and Operations at Alcorn, explained the importance of the technology fee.

“The fees enhance the availability of technology resources to students by giving them a more advanced and sound learning experience,” said Wooten. “Alcorn’s goal is to make learning as innovative as possible so that our students are exposed to the latest technological advances. This will enable our students to successfully compete academically with students from across the world.”