Story and photos by Greg Miley, Speakin’ Out News staff writer

NEW LOOK FOR MERIDIAN & CHASE – – On Thursday, May 20th, at 2;00 p.m., Alabama A&M University officials will once again pull together a ground breaking ceremony for a new structure on Meridian Street

On Thursday, May 20, 2021, at 2:00 p.m., Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (AAMU) broke ground on its $7.6 million Welcome Center. The center will be built on the southeast corner of the intersection of Meridian Street and Chase Road. Regions Bank donated he land to AAMU.

  Alabama A&M University President, Dr. Andrew Hugine,Jr.

AAMU’s President, Dr. Andrew Hugine, Jr., who gave the Welcome and Acknowledgments. He described the new center as the “front porch” for all new students, parents, and guests visiting the campus.

 According to Brian Shipp, AAMU director of physical facilities, the Welcome Center will have retail space and commercial restaurants, along with an executive conference area. The facility will also provide students a one-stop shop for all student information.

The center will house the AAMU Office of Admissions, retail space, restaurants, and meeting rooms. Mr. Dwayne Green, Director of Admissions, gave the Occasion; Ms. Jada Windless, an AAMU student and member of the AAMU University Echoes, gave the Invocation.

Remarks were given by the following: Dr. Jerome Williams, President Pro Tempore, AAMU Board of Trustee, Mr. Clayton Gibson, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, Dr. Gary Crosby, Vice President for Student Affairs; Rep. Laura Hall, Alabama House of Representatives, District 19, Rep. Anthony Daniels, Alabama House of Representatives, District 53/ Minority House Leader, Commissioner Violet Edwards, Madison County Commission, District 6, Mayor Tommy Battle, City of Huntsville, Councilman Devyn Keith, Huntsville City Council, District 1, Mr. Jason Phillippe, Senior Vice President, Regions Bank, Mr. Rob Van Peursem, Nola Van Peursem Architects, PC, Mr. Mark Nelson, P2MG, LLC (Construction company), Mr. Austin Smith, AAMU student and Student Government Association President for 2021- 2022, and Ms. Mary Jones Moore, President, AAMU National Alumni Association.

The center is slated for completion in 2022.