The Terry Mills Gilliland – HDR Bridge

While this was a time of “safer at home,” MHCO has seen some impressive progress in moving forward on several projects. Most notably the HDR Bridge was completed on 6/5. Time and elements had taken it’s toll on the steel I-Beam, Railroad Tie bridge which was put in place in the 1960’s. Serving its purpose well, the bridge had become dangerously worn and erosion made the bridge unsafe for vehicle traffic. As local developments increase Jordan… Creek has seen an increase in water flow, often overflowing the bridge.

Alumnae Terry Mills Gilliland always keeps her Home and her younger brothers and sisters in mind as she chairs the Chip Shots for Children Golf Tournament and serves on the Alumni Association Board. In the Fall of 2019, Ms. Gilliland suggested MHCO submit a LOI with the HDR Foundation. HDR engineers provide a variety of services to groups like NCDOT, including designing bridges. This project was especially rewarding for all involved. HDR Foundation has been seeking providing resources for a project in the Southeast, building bridges is one of their expertise, and Ms. Gilliland who works closely with HDR was raised at the Home.

The new bridge provides MHCO with safe access to the back of the property, supports the farmer’s efforts, and provides significant safety and service access for the Sheriff, Oxford Fire Department, and City and County officials. MHCO expects and intends for the back of the property to be utilized more for Masonic Events, such as outdoor degrees, Environmental Educational opportunities, and Scouting Activities.

This project was simply not possible without the support of many. During the course of this project, HDR Engineers, located in Raleigh, volunteered their design and engineering work. Catlin Engineers and Scientists conducted the Geotechnical Investigation for the Bridge, waiving their fee as a donation to MHCO. Sanford Contractors provided additional supports to keep expenses within the HDR Foundation Grant. Granville County and Oxford City officials supported the project helping keep related expenses minimal. The fifteen-foot wide concrete bridge with concrete footings protecting the pilings was built without cost for the Home.

The Bridge Project has special meaning during these challenging times. The bridge is visual progress at a time when the world virtually stopped. The bridge also represents safety, the main purpose of MHCO’s planning and decisions at all times, but especially during the pandemic. Finally, the bridge represents access. The children have access to more resources toward a better life crossing this bridge and all the bridges in their lives, thanks to everyone’s support.

The bridge was dedicated on August 14, 2020 following the MHCO Board Meeting. On behalf of our children, staff, Board of Directors, Alumni, and friends and supporters we extend our gratitude to all who made this possible!