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Mississippi College

Clinton Leaders Tour Mississippi College’s New Bookstore and Lofts

August 15, 2012

Clinton leaders are giving a thumbs up to Mississippi College’s new bookstore and upstairs lofts just steps away from the brick streets of Olde Towne.

“I’m very, very favorably impressed,” says Clinton alderman Jehu Brabham after taking Monday’s tour with Mayor Rosemary Aultman and other city officials.

“I always had the vision that this would be in the Olde Towne area. It fits in well with the renaissance here,” says Brabham, a 1971 Mississippi College graduate.

With new furniture on the way, modern kitchen areas, and access to the latest technology, the flats are designed for ten Mississippi College graduate students. The MC women plan to move in late August.

“I enjoyed my time in Chrestman Hall and the environment with friends, but this is the going thing,” in college towns from Oxford to Starkville, says Brabham, administrator at Parkway Baptist Church.

With the city’s blessing, the project speaks to the solid partnership between Mississippi College and Main Street Clinton to give new life to the downtown business district. The two-story building will include a small café featuring the fabulous pimento cheese sandwiches served at the Holiday Ham & Deli restaurants in Tennessee. MC alumnus Don “Papa” Jordan is the founder of the family-oriented restaurants in the Memphis area.

Steve Stanford, the university’s vice president for administration and government relations, led the tour group that included Clinton Chamber of Commerce leaders such as banker John Murphy and Clinton dentist Dr. Ryan Tracy, Clinton Courier Publisher and Editor Clay Mansell, alderman Mike Morgan and Main Street Clinton’s Tara Lytal.

Mansell fondly recalls his undergraduate days spent at MC’s new men’s dorm in the 1990s. But the 21st Century lofts for graduate students look even better than his old digs, he says.

“I’m jealous - I did not get to live in the new lofts,” Mansell said. “They are great!”

 The bookstore, café and lofts will be a welcome addition to Olde Towne, he believes. “I am very excited to get all these college students coming to Olde Towne, so they can better experience living in Clinton.”

Mayor Aultman hopes the new project will spur more growth for the city’s charming business district for years to come.

After taking the tour, Aultman left excited about MC's new project. “The lofts on Jefferson Street move college living to a whole new level,” the mayor said.”It would have been my dream to live in such a lovely environment during my college years.”

Combining the bookstore with a café will not only benefit MC students, but the community at large, she said.

The downtown Clinton building is among three major construction projects at Mississippi College. Work continues this summer on a three-story parking garage near the A.E. Wood Coliseum with spots designed for 557 vehicles. The garage comes equipped with lighting, and emergency phones, and architecture that blends in nicely with the rest of the Clinton campus.

 A new science building and laboratory along College Street should be completed in a few months and officials anticipate MC faculty and staff will move in by December.

Photo: MC bookstore and upstairs lofts are nearing completion this summer.