|Seated, from left: Alderman Ward 1 Maurice Smith, Alderman Ward 4 and Vice Mayor Willard Samuels, Mayor David Work, Alderman Ward 6 Ted Campbell, Jr., Delta State Vice President of University Relations Dr. Michelle Roberts Standing, from left: Chief Administrative Officer John Lindsey, Alderman Ward 5 Paul Janoush, Delta State University President Dr. John Hilpert, Delta State Vice President for Finance and Administration Greg Redlin, Delta State Director of Facilities Management Tommy Verdell, Delta State Director of Athletics Jeremy McClain, Alderman Ward 2 Reola Burke, Alderman Ward 3 Billy Nowell, and Alderman at Large Gary Gainspoletti.
Delta State University President, Dr. John M. Hilpert, welcomed Cleveland Mayor, David Work, and members of the Cleveland Board of Alderman to the Delta State campus on Thursday, April 9, to thank the City of Cleveland for providing the matching funds needed to build a road that will provide access to facilities at the north end of the Delta State campus.
“Delta State maintains numerous partnerships throughout the state and region,” said Hilpert. “While we appreciate those partnerships, we recognize the most important partnership we have is our partnership with the City of Cleveland. We thank our city officials for the continued support and efforts toward the expansion of Statesmen Boulevard.”
Approximately $1.47 million was earmarked by Sen. Thad Cochran (R) for the project. The City of Cleveland provided matching funds of $357,500.
“This was an 80/20 grant project” said Alderman, Gary Gainspoletti. “The City of Cleveland’s Tourism and Economic Development Fund provided the match funding for the project. Not only will Statesmen Boulevard create safe, easy access, but it will add to the beautification efforts designed to bring more tourists to Cleveland.”
Currently, visitors travel access routes through residential areas in order attend athletic events on the north end of the campus. “This new road will not only provide easier access to athletic events, but it will also provide a much safer route.” said Jeremy McClain, Delta State Athletic Director.
The new road will connect Highway 8 to facilities on the north end of the Delta State campus, bypassing residential areas.
“Over the years we have been very diligent in providing security to maintain safe access through the residential areas.” said McClain. “Safety has always been a high priority and this new road will help ensure the safety of visitors and residents during athletic events.”
Delta State athletic events provide a major economic boost not only to the University, but also the City of Cleveland. Over 100,000 visitors attend athletic events at Delta State annually. With more convenient access to athletic events, University and city leaders hope the number of visitors will increase.
Cleveland Mayor, David Work, recognized the economic importance of the University. “Delta State has over 4,000 students, plus their parents and friends, which are customers for our businesses and industries,” said Work. “Cleveland and Delta State have a strong mutual relationship that is a tremendous positive for the community and region.”
Ground breaking for construction of the new road is scheduled to begin in the fall.