PRCC closes deal on Hancock County property for campus
POPLARVILLE – Pearl River Community College officials took another giant step forward Thursday in planning to build a new college in Hancock County.
The school finalized the purchase of six acres of land at Stennis International Airport, located adjacent to Hancock High School. The funds came from the BP and Deepwater Horizon oil spill money.
PRCC’s long-range plan has been to build a new college in Hancock County in an effort to offer higher education opportunities that would aid local industry as well as the coastal workforce.
In November, that goal received a $2.5 million head start when the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality announced that PRCC was one of the 19 new projects that will benefit from BP and Deepwater Horizon oil spill money.
PRCC Public Relations photo
Pearl River Community College President Dr. Adam Breerwood (seated) signs papers finalizing the purchase of six acres of land at Stennis International Airport, located adjacent to Hancock High School. PRCC plans to build a new college in Hancock County. On hand for the signing were from left: Dr. Scott Alsobrooks, Vice President for Workforce and Economic Development; Raymunda Barnes, Assistant Vice President for Hancock Center; Dr. Jennifer Seal, Vice President for Planning and Institutional Research; and Roger Knight, Vice President for College Operations.
“This is another big step in the process,” said PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood. “It has been a goal of Pearl River Community College for several years to establish a permanent campus location in Hancock County. This campus would focus on providing job skills training, workforce development initiatives and higher education opportunities. There is no greater catalyst for economic development than a skilled and educated workforce. Pearl River is committed to providing such opportunities. Hancock County has exceptional leadership and the support for this project has been overwhelming."
According to Dr. Scott Alsobrooks, the Hancock campus will offer post-secondary career and technical education programs that fit the workforce needs of the industries served.
“The new Hancock facility will offer local residents outstanding education opportunities while providing the area an advantage over its competition because it would allow the region and even the state to engage in workforce-on-demand by creating a pipeline that perfectly lines up with jobs created by this industry,” said Alsobrooks..
Breerwood said the next step will be to secure additional funding before the building process can begin.
"Geographically, Hancock County is positioned in an ideal location to attract business and industry from around the world,” said Breerwood . “This land purchase is another investment for construction of a workforce development center, another step in securing the required job skills for those recruitment opportunities. The center will focus on preparing students for current industry needs and jobs created in the future.”
Hancock County is one of six counties served by Pearl River Community College. PRCC currently operates a Hancock Center on Highway 90 in Waveland, which is a major attraction for Hancock County students as they begin their higher education careers.
PRCC Public Relations photo
Pearl River Community College’s future site of a new college at Stennis International Airport, located near Hancock High School