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      Would a community college be beneficial in Hannibal?

      UPDATED: January 13 6:12 p.m.

      Moberly Area Community College might have a permanent home sooner than expected in Hannibal.

      Building could start this year if it receives the grant it's applied for through FEMA and Missouri SEMA.

      In order to receive that type of grant, the building has to meet certain requirements.

      Part of its facility has to be able to serve as a tornado shelter.

      "We saw that there was a big need in the community for having a better educated population, so we actually went to MACC and asked them if they would please move here," said Affordable Community Education Treasurer Sally Poole.

      This is where MACC is currently holding classes -- at the old AT&T building off Communications Road. When MACC first moved to Hannibal, they had around 75 students enrolled in classes. Now they have more than 300.

      "They've gradually been moving to different locations, bigger locations but again, they still don't have labs, they still don't have parking, and the students don't have the big facility that they really need," said Poole.

      "Many of them, they don't want to move away. They want to be able to work here and have jobs here, and they want to be able to become educated here, so that way they can stay," said MACC-Hannibal director Wendy Johnson.

      Now, they have a greater opportunity. This is the lot of the future college. The grant that they applied for would cover a substantial percentage of the building cost.

      "We don't know where the grant is at in the process. They've been asking MACC a lot of questions so we're thinking it's probably looking favorable but we really don't know where it's at in the process," said Poole.

      MACC has already raised more than $1.1 million and has $1 million left. Affordable Community Education will continue to raise money if the grant isn't awarded, because this project is so important to the community.

      "We had so many students that have come to us over the years and have shared with us that they did not feel that they would have been able to start their college education had we not developed a site here in Hannibal. So, to hear that from them directly, and to know what type of impact that's made, that's what's tremendous," said Johnson.

      The whole project costs $4.6 million.

      The new campus will be on the corner of MM and Shinn Lane.


      Moberly Area Community College could see a permanent building in Hannibal. That is, if it follows certain criteria to be a tornado shelter.

      According to ACE treasurer Sally Poole, a floor plan has been developed for a new facility at MM and Shinn Lane. Poole says the college is waiting for FEMA and a SEMA grant.

      How do you think a community college would benefit the Hannibal area?