Forrest County awards $2.6M to PRCC health, nursing programs

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) – The Forrest County Board of Supervisors awarded $2.6 million to Pearl River Community College on Monday.

The funds will be dispersed over a 15-year period.

PRCC President Adam Breerwood said the funds will be used to expand and renovate the Allied Health and nursing programs at the college’s Hattiesburg campus.

This includes a second building for the department.

“We’re gonna build a brand new Allied Health and nursing building annex, about 13,000 square feet to accommodate our growth, but we’re also gonna upgrade all of our science labs,” said Breerwood. “And a lot of other aesthetic things on campus, throughout our campus. New parking and some paving.”

Students like Dallas Wheat said the new space is much-needed, given the high number of students.

“I have seen them have to bounce students around here and there for having too many students for the amount of space,” said Wheat.

“We’re really fortunate to have a good bit of space, but we could always use more.”

Breerwood said the project would help with the current nursing shortage.

“Pearl River Community College leads the state, in terms of community colleges, the number of allied health degrees awarded and also those who are majoring in that area,” Breerwood said. “We think it’s an area that’s of utmost importance and will continue to grow with these types of investments.”

Forrest County Supervisor Roderick Woullard said he hopes the project will encourage students to learn, work and ultimately stay in the area.

“We invested in Pearl River Junior College, and investing in them, we invested in our residents of Forrest County,” said Woullard. “If we keep educating and training people, and they keep leaving here, it does us no good.”

The project is estimated to cost around $11 million in total.

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