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University Center to host open house

The Demopolis campus of Alabama Southern Community College is just about ready to show off its new digs.

An open house will be held Tuesday from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the school’s new building at the Demopolis Sportplex. Then on Friday at 10 a.m., the building will be officially dedicated in front of several of the state’s highest ranking education officials, including representatives from the Governor’s office. The public is invited to both events.

“It’s very, very satisfying,” said Dr. Arthur Ogden, director of the Demopolis campus. “We started last August and moved in to the building in October, and we’ve had so many people make so many comments about what this means to the community, how they take a lot of pride in having their own college in Demopolis…we believe it makes a huge difference to the entire community.”

Ogden said that the building stands as a evidence to the special nature of the Demopolis spirit.

“We are very pleased to be here. The fact that the city worked with us and developed its own center for higher education is a testimony, to me, that Demopolis really is the diamond of the Black Belt,” he said. “Demopolis is doing things the other Black Belt cities are not. It’s typical of Demopolis’s attitude…it’s a can-do attitude.”

Ogden also praised Demopolis mayor Cecil Williamson for her commitment to making the education center a reality.

“Demopolis has a fantastic mayor in Cecil Williamson,” he said, “who was really excited about and behind the project.”

The Tuesday open house, according to Ogden, is “a general open house primarily for the people of Demopolis, to come by and see the building and the technology of the building being demonstrated.”

The Friday dedication will be attended, Ogden said, by the chancellor of the state’s 2-year school system, members of the state Board of Education and the Delta Regional Authority, and representatives from several of the school’s “partners in higher education,” such as UWA, other Alabama Southern campuses, and the University of Alabama.

“It will be great for the people to come and witness the ceremony,” Ogden said, “and see what they’re community is doing for them.”