Pearl River's dorm project nearing completion; plus more construction updates
POPLARVILLE, Miss. – Construction at Pearl River Community College’s Hattiesburg, Poplarville and Waveland locations has continued to move onward and upward during the spring semester.
Ongoing projects at each location include a new bookstore and micro-market at the Forrest County Center, renovated science buildings and two new dorms on the Poplarville campus and continued progress on the Phil Bryant Aviation and Aerospace Workforce Academy in Hancock County.
“Our campus projects have not slowed down,” PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood said. “As a matter of fact, I think they are now moving at a rate that is a little ahead of schedule. We’ve had an opportunity to move quickly. I think we’ve taken full advantage of the lack of campus traffic to be able to move around and attack the things that we can control and one thing has been these campus projects.
“They are going to be great additions to all of our campuses and it’s going to be a wonderful asset to our students.”
FORREST COUNTY CENTER
The Forrest County Center is undergoing many renovations. The biggest undertaking involves Building 5, which is set to house a multipurpose room, police station, new bookstore and micro market. The building will also house Pearl River’s William Lewis Honors Institute as well as a new health and fitness area.
“The PRCC Wildcat Den and Micro Market is almost finished,” Associate Vice President of Communications and Marketing Candace Harper said. “We are so excited about this new addition to the Forrest County Center. Students will receive a wide variety of services in the new bookstore including the sale of new merchandise, electronics and a wide gift section.
“The new Wildcat Den and micro-market will be adjacent to the multi-purpose room and library. The micro-market will feature hot and cold items, snacks, healthy food choices and quick selection options.”
A new courtyard, which is funded by a $375,000 grant through the Mississippi Department of Transportation, is also being created to connect newly renovated buildings 3 and 5 on the FCC.
The project also will include new sidewalks, sitting areas, exterior lighting and greenspaces to beautify campus. The project is currently awaiting advertisements for bid.
“Exciting changes are happening at the Forrest County Center and we can’t wait to showcase these to all our students for the Fall semester,” Vice President for Forrest County Center, Allied Health and Nursing Programs Dr. Jana Causey said. “We will have a brand-new bookstore and grill, an updated assembly room, a savvy workout space and a designated honors college wing with an industrial modern appeal.
“Additionally, we are opening the Precision Manufacturing and Machining program at the FCC. We took existing space and transformed it into a functional classroom and lab for students to gain necessary skills and experience to be successful in this growing field.”
The Poplarville campus is nearing the end of a $6 million project that includes renovating the current science and math building as well as a new 11,000 square foot annex. The new annex will house state of the art labs for Pearl River’s Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, A&P and Microbiology classes.
Renovations to the existing science building include the addition of new LED lighting, new ceilings, doors and elevator to access the second floor of the building. The project is scheduled to be completed in next month in preparation to welcome students in August.
“Our new science building annex is beautiful. I’m looking forward to us fully moving into that facility,” Breerwood said. “Our new dorms are changing everyday as they work on the exterior and we look forward to welcoming students once they are completed.”
With a housing wait list growing daily, a $13.5 million project in the form of two new 35,000 square foot dorms is well underway. The modern rooms will house six beds per suite with two restrooms that will become home to 260 students. The buildings will feature a third-floor balcony viewing area overlooking the newly renovated baseball facility, Dub Herring Park. The dorms are scheduled to be completed in December.
A new $46,000 rodeo facility is on its way up located behind the lineman training area on campus. The 6,528 square foot project will be utilized by the PRCC rodeo team to house horses along with a practice area. The construction is projected to be complete in July.
HANCOCK COUNTY CENTER
The institution also broke ground on the Phil Bryant Aviation and Aerospace Workforce Academy in Hancock County in December 2019. The Academy will be an estimated 25,000 square feet and represents an expanded presence for PRCC in Hancock County on Fred and Al Key Road.
The facility will consist of eight classrooms, five labs, reception area, faculty and staff offices, break room/kitchenette for staff, indoor sitting/vending area for students and an outdoor courtyard sitting area.
The hangar itself will be an estimated 18,000 square feet and will consist of two classrooms with labs, open hangar area with hands-on lab stations, outdoor covered area for equipment training, lobby with reception area, faculty and staff offices, break room/kitchenette for staff, small vending area for students. The hangar and classroom facility will be an extension of the Academy with hands-on training space as well as state of the art classroom learning environments. Direct runway access will allow for study and testing of operational vehicles with attention given to state-of-the art composites and sheet metal materials. Aviation systems and power plant design, repair and maintenance can be studied, performed and tested in real time on operational equipment. The facility will have direct access to the Stennis International Airport runways, service and fueling facilities. The hangar will offer the following programs: Airframe & Propulsion Technology, Unmanned Arial Systems and Precision Manufacturing.