After years of discussion, many projects are finally coming to fruition in Oxford

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 4, 2017

If I had a nickel for every time I wrote a story about the new Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi, the downtown parking garage, the new activity center, zoning, comprehensive plans and the Sisk and Oxford Loop extensions I’d probably be able to, well, at least buy a cup of coffee.

The good kind.

However, after writing about these things for five years or so, many have come to fruition recently and the rest will be a reality within a year or two.

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Baptist opened its doors to its new $300 gorgeous hospital just last weekend. The city of Oxford and Lafayette County both updated their comprehensive plans this year. Oxford recently completely overhauled how it zones property around the city and county supervisors are expected to vote on whether to implement light zoning in the county in the next month or so.

Bids have been approved for the new activity center and a ribbon cutting is planned for Thursday. Work has begun on Oxford Loop extension and construction is expected to start on Oxford’s first downtown parking garage in March.

So many meetings to sit through, year after year and now everything seems to be happening in Oxford at once and it’s a great thing to see.

All of these things are coming about because of the growth that Oxford has seen and is projected to keep experiencing over the years to come. City leaders are looking into annexing more land from the county, which will not only increase population but the city’s borders as well.

And why? Because people from around the country are finding out that Oxford, Mississippi is a pretty special place.

I have to admit, I haven’t fallen in love with Mississippi as a state. There are some amazing things here that I’ve never experienced before moving here almost 11 years ago. There’s so much potential and yet, the state is held back by our “representatives” in Jackson who are living in the past and can’t move forward.

Oxford, however, is the gem of this state and I have fallen in love with our city. I know the changes that are happening are overwhelming to many of our native Oxonians and I can appreciate that. For us who moved here in the last decade or so, we have been watching this place explode and it’s exciting to see.

So while sitting in three-hour-long meetings isn’t always the most entertaining part of my job, I have the pleasure of watching the wheels turn and projects and ideas being born and then see them eventually turn from an idea into a reality.

Fasten your seat belts neighbors. We’re in for a wild ride in 2018.