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Out with the old (hospital), in with the new (school)

school-booksA site that once offered health care to the needy is soon to be home to new facilities that will train future health care professionals.

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History has approved a request to tear down the old Matty Hersee Charity Hospital building in Meridian, which closed in 1999.

Meridian Community College bought the building plus five acres for $1.6 million eight years ago. There is a dormitory on the site.

WTOK-TV in Meridian reports that faced with renovation costs of $10 million, MCC president Dr. Scott Elliott said tearing the building down was the school’s only choice.

“We began to research what grants might be available to renovate the facility and we were just unable to determine that there was any money available for that on a local, state or federal level,” Elliott said.

Elliott said his landlocked school needs room to grow.

Because of the dormitory’s age and the fact that it’s located on the opposite side of the street from MCC’s main campus, school officials have a long range plan to locate all housing for MCC on the same side of the street, Elliott said.

He said this means that the dormitory by Matty Hersee will also close eventually and MCC will build a new housing area on the main campus.

Elliott said preliminary work for demolition of the hospital is expected to take months. Elliott said it could be a number of years before construction starts on a new building there.

“It’s unlikely that during my tenure as president that you’ll see a new building over there, but the land will still be there for future development,” Elliott said.

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