Making MCC’s environment safe

Susan Swink and Brandon Dewease

Getting prepped for the first day of school has traditionally been filled with countless tasks, from freshening classrooms to completing first-day handouts to purchasing Scantron scoring sheets.

With Fall Semester 2020 proving to be like no other, Meridian Community College administration, faculty and staff are making their best effort to hinder the spread of COVID-19 as campus opens for the upcoming academic term that starts Aug. 17.

“Many people are working very hard to make our environment as safe as possible,” said MCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner. It’s been a work in progress since the pandemic surfaced.

In early summer, Dr. Huebner commissioned a campus-wide committee to brainstorm ideas about returning to campus. “We discussed several options for the college campus that included how we can maintain a clean and safe environment while preventing the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Laura Lewis, MCC health instructor, and chair of the committee.

The committee’s recommendations based on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) and the executive orders from the governor, serve as a guide in preparing preventative measures such as mandatory masks, increased cleaning protocols and socially distancing, Dr. Lewis said.

When the campus doors open, students, faculty and staff are reminded by floor decals to social distance. Some 1,000-plus of these have been placed, said Adam Foreman, director of physical plant. Foreman also noted that extra cleaning crews had been hired to clean the 130 restrooms around campus multiple times a day. Also, the maintenance crews have crafted in house Plexiglass shields for stations around campus.

Additional supplies, including hand sanitizing stations, disinfectant wipes and face masks, have been gathered in preparation for the fall semester’s opening.

“Much is at stake, and we are all working very hard to do what we believe is best and in keeping with CDC and MSDH guidelines,” Dr. Huebner added.

For MCC details on Coronavirus updates, go to