The word is out. The McKinley High School Alumni Center is a steadily improving facility. The building and grounds look better and the overall business operation is on the right track.

Most of those improvements are attributed to McKinley grads and friends since high school Melvin Mitchell (seated) and Jeff Neal who are now working as General Manager and Assistant Manager, respectively, at the Center.

Both Mitchell and Neal, friends before they graduate from McKinley in 1964, are virtually volunteering their time. You may sometimes find them at center six days week and sometimes and seven. Yet, they both negotiated $1 annual salaries.

Mitchell and Neal have taken over some of the day-to-day operations of the building to assist in improving service to tenants, handling emergencies, ramping up building security and boosting the professional atmosphere at the facility.

Longtime Center Director Garrick Mayweather continues to be part of the management team.

Mitchell came on board January 31, 2016 after retiring from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality as Deputy Assistant Secretary and Administrator of the State’s Environmental Laboratory.

Mitchell also had a 26-year career as a U.S. Army Officer and combat veteran. He graduated in 1969 from Southern University in chemistry and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant.

Mitchell is the lead administrator, managing most of the personnel matters. He has instituted a regular schedule of hours of operations for the building, has put in place a person to be on duty as long as the building is open to assist those using the center providing the facility another layer of security.

Neal, a retired college professor, is a graduate of Grambling State University with a Master’s Degree from Kansas State University with additional study at Louisiana Tech University.

Mitchell and Neal have established new methods for contract and management oversight, increasing building-tenant relationships and improving customer service.

Mitchell, Neal and Mayweather encourage small businessowners, would-be entrepreneurs, non-profit organizations and others looking for affordable office space to visit the Alumni Center at 1520 Thomas H. Delpit Drive or call 383-4865 for an appointment. There are large, small and multi-office configurations at the Center.

The Alumni Center management team encourages the public to visit the center. There two auditoriums for community and private events along with office space available for lease.

And, visitors should stop to see all of the great McKinley paraphernalia on display at center’s popular museum.

April 20, 2016

Mitchell, Neal helping to improve McKinley Alumni Center

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