DOTHAN — Troy University officially broke ground Friday on Coleman Hall, a new $3.2 million facility to be located on the University’s Dothan Campus.
The 13,400-square-foot building will be the home of the Coleman Center for Early Learning and Family Enrichment, a collaboration between the College of Health and Human Services and the College of Education.
The Coleman Center will feature classrooms, an interactive media room, exam rooms, counseling rooms, a workshop area and more, aimed at children ranging from infants to 4-year-olds.
“This is an exciting day for Troy University, but even more substantially, it’s an exciting day for the children who will be served and those who will benefit from the lessons learned here,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of Troy University. “Not only will it serve the Dothan community, but it will have a profound effect on how we prepare early childhood professionals.”
The facility is named for James F. Coleman, longtime chairman of Coleman Worldwide Moving.
“This is a great occasion for Troy University and our family,” said Jeff Coleman, president and CEO of Coleman World Group. “It’s also a great day for Dothan and the Wiregrass area as we work hard for growth, prosperity and advancement in early childhood education. We’re investing in children from birth.”
In addition to private and corporate support, the project also received funding from area governments, including Houston County, the City of Dothan, the City of Ozark and Henry County.
“Every one of us wholeheartedly supported this project,” said Brandon Shoupe, Houston County District 4 commissioner. “There was never really any debate in our commission. If you ask any economist worth their weight what is the one thing a government can invest in that will show the most positive return on its investment, they will tell you early childhood education.”
Coleman Hall, the fourth major facility at the Dothan Campus, is expected to open in the fall of 2019.
“It’s something that will have far more meaning than just that which occurs on this campus, through the lessons learned, through the research dimension, through the teaching, we’ll learn lessons that will have ripple effects throughout the state and, possibly, the nation,” Hawkins said. “Our goal is a model with implications beyond the state of Alabama.”
Donors for the project thus far include: the Coleman Foundation, the Anne Flowers Education Trust, the City of Dothan, the City of Ozark, the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, Henry County Commission, Houston County Commission, Dothan Security, Julian T. Turner Charitable Trust, Davis Malone, Michelin North America, Mike Schmitz, Mark Saliba, Tim Shirley, Charles Owens, Wiregrass Construction, Wiregrass Electric Cooperative and University employees. For information on how you may be involved in this project, please call the Troy University Office of Development at 334-670-6708.