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Good news for the holiday season, or any season

By Staff
Dec. 23, 2001
We congratulate the individuals, organizations and businesses that are helping restore the Grand Opera House and Marks-Rothenberg buildings to their rightful place among treasured local landmarks old buildings given renewed life and a new mission for the future.
Two pieces of good news from the local economic development front have brought glad tidings this Christmas season. And, while much work remains to be done on both projects, all signs currently point toward a future payoff of which we all can be proud.
First, with a dash of unity in keeping with the seasonal spirit, the Phil Hardin Foundation and six local banks have contributed major financial pieces of a local commitment to the Riley Education and Performing Arts Center. These generous contributions, coupled with outstanding support from Mississippi State University and the Riley Foundation itself, will help make this new center a reality.
We also compliment the financial commitment of half a dozen local banks. Community Bank has committed $20,000 over a three-year period for an endowment set up to fund the Riley Center's operations. AmSouth Bank, BankPlus and Trustmark National Bank promised the same support. Union Planters Bank committed $10,000 and Great Southern National Bank pledged $7,500 to the fund.
As the Riley Center is developed through the renovation of the Grand Opera House and Marks-Rothenberg Building, a welcome physical transformation of old buildings into showplaces of learning and entertainment will take place.
The Meridian Star congratulates all of the individuals, organizations and businesses that are helping restore the Grand Opera House and Marks-Rothenberg buildings to their rightful place among treasured local landmarks old buildings given renewed life and a new mission for the future.
And then came the announcement that an Arkansas-based development company will build a gated community complete with golf courses in Meridian. In the 50-year-old company's first venture into Mississippi, Cooper Land Development Inc. hopes to attract thousands of new residents to our area.
The $35 million project includes up to 3,000 housing units and two new golf courses on pristine acreage now occupied by the city-owned Lakeview Golf Course and about a billion pine trees and hardwoods.
At 1,314 acres, it is a relatively small project for Cooper. But the company's other residential projects in other states are very attractive places to live and there is every reason to believe ours will be the same.
The Meridian Star has encouraged the mayor and city council to take definitive steps toward facilitating residential development inside city limits. We, like most others in this community, appreciate the fact that persistence does pay and are excited about the possibilities offered by the Cooper announcement.

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