Extreme Makeover Home Edition, new ‘Rankin Circle’
Published: Saturday, February 25, 2012
Updated: Sunday, July 29, 2012 20:07
When discussing the remodeling of the Mississippi Industrial College Homes (MICH), better known as “Rankin Circle,” in Holly Springs, Miss., only one word can describe this long awaited process, upgrade.
Rankin Circle is a low income-based apartment complex. To many Holly Springs residents, the complex projects the image of an unhealthy environment. Some view Rankin Circle as a drug zone with drug dealers, drug users, and gang members.
“I remember being scared to even drive through Rankin Circle in the day or the night time,” said Holland Mason, a resident of a nearby neighborhood. There have been murders and numerous crime altercations that have taken place in Rankin Circle, such as the 2001 murder of Patrick Smith.
Some of the most notorious drug lords of Holly Springs are from this neighborhood, according to Officer Michael Perkins of the Holly Springs Police Department. In November 2010, the Patton & Taylor Construction Company began the task of remodeling MICH, planned to be completely finished this November. According to Jim McNeese, the company superintendent, this is one of the more difficult jobs the company has undertaken. MICH received a $4 million grant from the state of Mississippi to fund the rebuilding expenses.
Kendria Winfield, the MICH property manager since September 2010, feels the upgrade will give the residents a more positive outlook on the neighborhood. “When dealing with apartment complexes that have lots of children around we usually experience theft and vandalism of the construction site, but surprisingly nothing has been missing or vandalized the whole time we’ve been here,” said McNeese.
The city of Holly Springs has been a huge help in getting the job done on time including everyone from Mayor Andre DeBerry, Micheal Crittle, and the Holly Springs Utility Department, McNeese added.
Clemmie McFadden, age 88, has been living at the MICH complex since they first opened in 1971. McFadden explains how boys used to hang out around the complex very often and cause conflicts.
“I would witness bickering, arguments, and sometimes violence at least three to four times a week,” said McFadden. After putting up gates surrounding the entire complex, installing cameras in every building, and enforcing strict rules such as a curfew, this neighborhood is a much safer living environment, McFadden added.