For Meridian Community College student-athletes, it’s a first-class training center. For the College and community, it’s a win-win facility.
The newly-constructed Athletic Performance Center garnered the spotlight at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 16, with campus and community turning out to get an inside look at the 4,200 square foot facility.
Addressing the student-athletes gathered at the event, MCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner said, “I appreciate the work you put in to represent our College. This facility will help you grow and develop as student-athletes and help you reach your goals and your dreams.”
Situated between Thornton Residence Hall and College Crossing Apartments, the MCC Eagles Athletic Performance Center was specifically designed and equipped for the needs of today’s athletes and is dedicated to improving the strength and conditioning of the College’s student-athletes.
Inside, the center is filled with new, custom-built equipment from Pontotoc-based Wilder Fitness, an industry leader in the manufacturer of fitness equipment which sports the College’s branding symbols. “To have that as a part of the facility is very meaningful,” Dr. Huebner said. Plus, there are free weights, TRX bands, battle ropes, dumbbells as well as a cardio room.
The College fields men’s and women’s varsity teams, including baseball, basketball, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field and softball. In addition to having outstanding on-the-field records, more than 100-plus National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-Americans have come from MCC.
Jada Conner, 18, a freshman from Vicksburg who is a member of the Eagle Track and Field teams, summed up her thoughts about the new facility: “I love it. I like to lift weights, and I like having our own space so where we can work out and be able to get a good workout,” she said.
She noted she also appreciated that the building is geared for athletes, and it has an interactive feel to it. “So you can see athletes in other sports and be able to work out on your own,” she said.
Students in the career and technical programs, including Electrical Technology and Construction Trades, assisted with the project, lending their talents in wiring the building from the contractor set electrical panels and constructing the stud walls and completing some millwork.
Dr. Huebner noted, “This project could not have happened without the dedication and hard work of students who are not student-athletes but who are in some of our skilled trades programs including Electrical Technology and Construction Trades Programs.” Instructors Jim Miles and Myke Shirley, who are also coordinators of the Electrical Technology and Construction Trades programs, respectively, were saluted for their efforts. “They work very hard to teach our students skills they need to be successful when they leave here,” Dr. Huebner added.
MCC Athletic Director and Associate Dean for Student Services Sander Atkinson said he’s especially excited about the new building and what it means for the sports programs on campus. “I am proud to show this facility,” he added.