By Terri Ferguson Smith / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Meridian Star
An agency that serves clients in 10 counties is a step closer to moving into a new building.
Multi-County Community Service Agency on St. Paul Street is headquartered in Meridian and helps clients in Lauderdale, Kemper, Newton, Clarke, Jasper, Neshoba, Scott, Smith and Wayne counties.
MCCSA has been in the process of constructing a new 11,000 square feet building for several months and the building is nearly ready for the staff to move in.
MCCSA provides emergency food and shelter, crisis intervention, low-income heating and energy-assistance, low-income weatherization, volunteer income tax preparation, a foster grandparents program, Meals on Wheels, and other programs to provide help for those in need.
Joe Norwood, Lauderdale County Supervisor, District 4, said the county took the lead on the project because it is headquartered here. At a supervisors work session on Thursday, Norwood said the agency will probably move into the building by the first of the new year.
"Today the board discussed and on Monday we hope to vote to sign the substantial completion document so we can accept the building and Multi-County can prepare to move in," Norwood said.
The Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors pledged $600,000 from a grant, Norwood said and MCCSA obtained a loan for $700,000. The building had a projected cost of $1.3 million, but the cost came in under that at about $1.2 million.
"It's really a nice building with a comfortable conference room that will service other needs throughout the community. It's well-deserved and well-overdue," Norwood said.
Touring the building later on Thursday with project architect Jerry Hobgood of Carter Miller Associates; and MCCSA executive assistant Mary Atterberry, Norwood said the building's largest room can be used for community events.
Security is designed to allow clients to be buzzed in to the appropriate offices; individual offices are equipped with their own air conditioning units, allowing for varying temperatures in different rooms and are said to be more energy efficient, Hobgood said.
Atterberry said the staff is happy about getting into the new building, which is located across the street from the former MCCSA building.
"We are excited about being able to move into something comfortable; not only for the staff but for the clients as well," Atterberry said. "They will feel welcome and they will be comfortable."