- Associated Press - Saturday, March 10, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi’s largest community college will lease a defunct department store to provide job training.

Hinds Community College trustees voted Wednesday to lease the former Belk store at Jackson’s Metrocenter Mall from a group of private investors for 20 years, with an option to buy the building at the end of the lease. The college didn’t say how much it would pay.

The college will provide advanced manufacturing, transportation and hospitality classes at the site. Hinds will sublease space to other agencies that will provide case management and student services, aiming to create an easy to access one-stop training center.

President Clyde Muse says Hinds County supervisors are allocating $1.6 million a year in property taxes to aid the project. Renovations are projected to cost $8 million over six months.

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