MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – The Mobile City Council voted to give the University of South Alabama $1 million per year for the next 10 years.
The money will be used to build a new ‘state-of-the-art’ medical facility as a place for medical students to grow and learn.
The campus is 60 years old, and President Jo Bonner said many of the buildings on campus are in desperate need of upgrades. He said the Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine is no exception.
“If I were to take you on a tour of our current medical school, you would be amazed,” Bonner said. “There’s black mold. There’s panels that are falling out.”
Currently, the College of Medicine graduates 80 Medical Doctors per year. Jo Bonner said the new facility would bring that number to 100.
Bonner said that about 90% of graduates stay in Mobile, which contributes to the economic growth of the city.
The investment, however, didn’t come easy as District 2 Councilman William Carroll tried multiple times to block and table the votes to a later date. Carroll said the money should rather be spent on affordable housing.
“We have money in economic development everywhere in the city, but what are we doing where it really counts. Where it affects the people in underserved neighborhoods,” Carroll said. “We continue to give money to give millions and millions of dollars to corporations, which I agree with, that already have hundreds of millions of dollars, but what about those neighborhoods that don’t have $100,000.”
Carroll, in previous meetings, had pushed to pass a board of appointees chosen by the County Commission, the city and the Mobile County Public School System to tasked to alleviate the city-wide affordable housing issues.
Groundbreaking for the new facility will begin in December.