New education building set to open at Troy Dothan campus

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - A ground breaking ceremony that was initially set to take place outside was held at the Troy Dothan campus Thursday afternoon for a multi-million dollar building to help train education students.

Jeff Coleman, President and CEO of Coleman Worldwide Moving, says "This is a great occasion, a great celebration for Troy University Dothan and our family as we have the ground-breaking ceremony for the Coleman Center for early learning family and enrichment."

James F. Coleman Hall is a collaborative effort between the College of Health and Human Services and the College of Education.

"To me, it's about a smart start and we must educate and not incarcerate," replied Coleman.

The new facility will cost $3.25 million and house classrooms for early education students.

"It will add two 4-P classrooms and that will tie in with the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education as they do the voluntary 4-P pre-k program in Alabama," replied Coleman.

Coleman says Alabama's first class pre-k program has been number one in the United States 12 years in a row.

"This will tie in nicely with the state of Alabama and what we're doing here to educate four year olds in the Dothan/Wiregrass area," says Coleman.

Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. considers the Dothan campus to be the future of American higher education.

Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., Troy University, says "How we've changed over the last 25 years in terms of technology and how half of our students today are being reached at a distance and served at a distance...it's truly a combination I think and a healthy balance of touch and tech."

Hawkins says the high-tech center reflects what Troy University has to offer worldwide.

"This building on this campus not only will serve the Dothan community but it will have a profound effect in terms of how we prepare early childhood professionals throughout our university. The model and the lessons we learn will go way beyond Troy University," replied Hawkins.

Chancellor Hawkins says the university is not just "building a building" but building a building that will set students up for success.

Coleman Hall is expected to open in the fall of next year.