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Home / News and Information / April 2006 / U.S. 221-BPC Boulevard Partnership

Mount Vernon, Brewton-Parker announce U.S. 221-BPC Boulevard Partnership

By Terry Gaston
BPC Public Relations

A scenic boulevard that will not only connect North U.S. Highway 221/Railroad Street in Mount Vernon to the west part of Brewton-Parker College’s campus but that will also bridge the area’s past, present and future was revealed publicly Thursday on the Brewton-Parker campus.

The City of Mount Vernon and Brewton-Parker College announced a partnership on Thursday that will result in a scenic boulevard connecting the highway to the campus following a land purchase from Montgomery County Elementary School teacher Lou Palmer O’Neill.

The announcement came at a news conference on the west patio of the Bartow and Jean Snooks Student Activities Center on the Brewton-Parker campus, near where the boulevard will end.

The divided boulevard will be marked with a Brewton-Parker sign at Highway 221 and will follow Palmer Street to where Robinson and Rabun streets meet near the parking lot of the Snooks Student Activities Center, the Morgan-Moses Math and Science Center and Saliba Chapel.

Dr. David R. Smith, Brewton-Parker’s president, said the boulevard meets two vital needs for the campus.

“ One was how do we bring the approximately 30,000 guests per year that come to the Student Activities Center and to Saliba Chapel to this end of the campus” without having to provide a complex set of directions off U.S. Highway 280/West College Street, Smith said.

The other concern regarded security issues along the west side of the college property that includes the Baron Ridge dormitories that connect to East Palmer Street.

“We had some security issues that developed several years ago that have continued,” Smith said. “When we visited with the mayor, he began to think in a more global manner that would bring a solution that would be more permanent.”

“So what we bring you today really is Mayor Fountain’s vision that we bought into quickly once we realized what he had in mind, bringing a west entry into the campus that also secures the west side of our grounds.”

The agreement includes purchase of 12 acres of land from O’Neill that stretches from Highway 221 to the Brewton-Parker campus, land which also includes the current Palmer Street.

Smith said Saliba Chapel should be visible down a significant stretch of the new boulevard, which will retain the Palmer name as a historic gesture to the longtime servants of the community.

The streets will end in a circle drive that will eventually encompass a planned lighted fountain that will feature a cross in its center.

“ We are excited about this property acquisition and the former owner and the city working with us. Not only will we benefit from a scenic west entry into the campus, but our students and staff will also experience more security as it becomes a reality,” Smith said.

Fountain said that to envision how one wants to improve his town is easy, but to find someone to offer the support must be found.

“Dr. Smith is real good about giving me the credit, but it could not have happened without him and Lou, and I think it’s a win/win situation for the City of Mount Vernon, for Brewton-Parker and for Lou,” Fountain said.

“It’s going to make Mount Vernon look better and it’s going to make Brewton-Parker look better, and Brewton-Parker is a big, big asset to Mount Vernon and Montgomery County. Without Brewton-Parker, our county would really be struggling and we need more industry and more things to support Brewton-Parker. I am encouraging people in our community to get more involved with Brewton-Parker and support the activities they have here.”

The purchase from O’Neill also includes a house at the corner of West College Street and Lakeshore Drive in Ailey. The property will allow for an east access to the college’s Eugene Briscoe Religious Activities Center.

“Nothing would make our family any happier to see Palmer Street refurbished and to see this vision come (to fruition),” O’Neill said. “We have had the property in our family for several generations and my parents, Lewis and Sadie Palmer, loved this community and they loved Brewton-Parker.”

Lewis Palmer graduated from Brewton-Parker Institute’s high school in 1929 and the two-year college program in 1931, and O’Neill said, “Daddy always spoke highly of and he had fond memories of his days as a student here.”

“We’re just very happy that this could happen, and I would also like to thank Mayor Fountain and Gary Braddy for helping with this, too.”

Smith added that Tom Moore, Brewton-Parker’s chief financial officer, and Ailey attorney Tom Everitt played instrumental roles in formulating the project.

He also laid out a tentative timeline, largely based on the acquisition of funds, for beginning and completing the project but anticipated it beginning in the next few months.

Fountain said Local Option grants and legislative assistance have been sought that should help to expedite the construction phases.

“I believe that this project will benefit the City of Mount Vernon in beautifying a part of the community that is in need of transition,” Smith said. “It will benefit Brewton-Parker College by providing a much needed west entry into the heart of our campus. It will also preserve the historic Palmer name which has for generations been synonymous with this part of our town. This indeed is in every way a ‘win/win’ situation.”


Brewton-Parker College News & Information
Brewton-Parker College | Located on U.S. 280 at 201 David-Eliza Fountain Circle, P. O. Box 197, Mount Vernon, GA 30445
with a site in Newnan
912-583-2241, 1-800-342-1087
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The mission of Brewton-Parker College, a Georgia Baptist college, is to develop the whole student through the application of Biblically-centered truth to a liberal arts curriculum in a community of shared Christian values.
Brewton-Parker College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Brewton-Parker College.
Updated on: April 15, 2010 8:26 PM