East campus developments still in the works

New developments for the Mississippi College East campus were approved last Tuesday at the Clinton Planning & Zoning Commission meeting.

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The location of Mississippi College’s future east campus is directly across the street from the Baptist Healthplex.

Tim Geddie, an employee of Dean & Dean Architecture and head architect in the MC East campus project, explained that changes including dorm location and parking were made to the site plan after public concerns were expressed at the last meeting.

The plan includes eight apartment-style buildings grouped together in fours, each set with its own parking, courtyard, and green space in between. More parking was also added for the academic buildings already in use by MC, as well as a road connecting College Street and Fairmont Street.

Clinton resident Margie Dean presented her concerns about the current site plan. Dean lives on East College Street in Clinton’s historical district and said that she and other homeowners are worried about the new campus increasing traffic on the already busy College Street.

Dean also said that many cars on that street go above the speed limit, and more students commuting to the other campus would create more of a safety concern for the large number of children who live in the area.

Among the list of Dean’s other concerns were flooding from improper drainage on the new campus, intrusive lighting, and privacy for Clinton residents across the street. She suggested that Geddie and MC administrators consider improving water management plans, use directional lighting, and utilize fencing and landscaping to ensure privacy for both MC students and Clinton residents.

Anne Macke, also a homeowner on Clinton’s historic East College Street, made known her desire for the city to preserve the historical integrity of the area where the new campus will be built, specifically the sidewalks.

“Those sidewalks on College Street have been around since the 1930s,” said Macke, her glasses and fur hat shaking as she emphatically pointed her finger at the commission members across the room.

“They are considered to be historical, and that’s recorded in Washington, D.C. I want to make sure that this project does not interfere with those sidewalks.”

Macke made it clear that she would be following any changes to the plan closely.

Geddie said he would try to meet the public’s needs when landscaping and other issues of the East campus are addressed. He also said that he would like to add a three-way stop to improve vehicular traffic for those exiting the East campus and traveling along College Street.

The Planning & Zoning Commission voted to accept the site plan as is, contingent on local, state, and federal guidelines.

The commission also approved a site plan for a soon-to-be Fairfield Inn between the current locations of Home Depot and Morrison Heights Church. The four-story hotel will require the addition of a new side street entrance called Hampstead Place.

The developing contractor for Fairfield Inn, Chiko Patel, said that the plan was approved back in 2008, but due to economic troubles at the time, the inn was not built. He said he hopes the hotel will be a beneficial addition to the Clinton community.

Signs for the new MeMe’s Brick Street Bakery were also approved. The bakery, located on 104 West Leake St., will now have a sign hanging front its porch, as well as a ground-posted sign that can be seen from the street. Both signs, which were altered to coordinate with the other signage in the area, include the name of the bakery and a picture of a cupcake.

– Abbie Walker, News Editor

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