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PCC, County Announce $2 Million-EDA Grant

Funding Will Help Build New Science and Technology Building on Campus

Representatives from the parties involved with making the federal $2 million Economic Development Assistance (EDA)-grant possible take time out for a group photo following today's press conference to announce the award.

• PHOTO GALLERY


 WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College administrators joined Pitt County government officials in the Craig F. Goess Student Center this morning to announce a $2 million-U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant that will help the college build a new science and technology training center.

PCC President G. Dennis Massey says the EDA funding will be combined with $18 million from a bond referendum Pitt County voters approved in 2013 to construct a 75,000-square-foot-science and technology building at PCC.

“It’s going to be the largest building on our campus …,” Massey said. “It’s timely, too, based on what is taking place in Pitt County and the region” with regard to business growth in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Construction bids for the facility, which has been designed by JKF Architecture’s John Farkas, will be sought this spring with construction expected to begin this fall. PCC administrators say plans are to occupy the building by January 2017.

“We have been cramped, and (soon) we’ll be able to integrate and consolidate our science programming and enrich what we are doing to serve the immediate needs of area business and industry,” Massey said.

Pitt County Commissioner Beth Ward said PCC may eventually have the “best facility in the state” to prepare individuals for STEM careers. “This building will make positive impact for our citizens,” she said.

Massey agreed, saying PCC’s future science building will help attract new STEM businesses to the area and, based on estimates from local economic development organizations, prepare workers for 1,487 biotechnology, biopharma and science-related jobs while generating $439 million in private investments in the region.

“The margin of excellence this project provides for PCC simply equates to job creation, long-term growth and sustainability, especially in our region, where stimulus is needed,” he said.

“The STEM training we can provide by working with our partners in industry and Pitt County Schools—especially the new Early College High School that will focus on STEM—will prepare a pipeline of graduates in the areas of biotechnology, engineering, mathematics, and many science-related fields.”

Pitt County Manager Scott Elliott was on hand for this morning’s announcement and voiced his support for the science building project and the resulting economic development opportunities it will create for the county.

“We are elated to receive the additional funding to expand the scope of the building to be constructed,” Elliott said. “The science building is going to have a long-term impact to Pitt County and to the students who utilize it for job training. It will be another catalyst for economic development in Pitt County.”

After thanking those who helped secure the EDA funds, from Pitt County and regional leaders to state and federal legislators, Massey offered a brief history of the grant project and presented renderings of PCC’s future science facility.

“Representatives from PCC, Pitt County Government, the Pitt County Development Commission, the Mid-East Commission and local employers have been working together for the past year on this project to secure federal funding …,” he said. “The $2 million-grant will allow us to add six more classrooms to our original design for the building.”

Ward concluded her remarks by saying she wanted to be sure to get the word out to citizens about the importance of PCC’s future science building and the positive impact the college has on the community.

Massey also noted PCC’s value to the area.

“We are a benefit to taxpayers, students, parents and employers,” he said. “Many employers have seen the benefits and advantages we can offer them. We feel that will increase significantly in the years ahead.”


01/09/2015