Nursing part of ECCC expansion here

Nursing part of ECCC expansion here


An additional nursing program along with workforce training and development will be part of a new East Central Community College expansion into Philadelphia, it was announced Monday night at the Chamber of Commerce banquet.

“This is our first step into expanding educational and workforce opportunities to each of our service counties,” East Central Community College President Dr. Brent Gregory told the Democrat Tuesday in clarifying the plans..

East Central recently purchased 6.2 acres in a high-traffic area of Philadelphia near the intersection of Highway 15 and Highway 16 near Lowe’s finalized at the end of last week, officials said.

The Philadelphia location was chosen because it is centrally positioned among the five counties the college serves, which are Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Scott, and Winston.

Gregory said this facility is the “linchpin” in a series of further expansions into Leake, Scott and Winston counties in addition to the main campus in Newton County. He said the offering at each new facility will be dependent on the needs of the counties in which the new facilities will be built.

“Once funding is secured from government and other sources, our preliminary plans are to construct a multipurpose facility to be used for such things as workforce training and development, career and technical education, and an additional nursing program,” Gregory said. “These would be new instructional and training programs, and not a relocation of current programs from the Decatur campus to the Philadelphia location.” 

He said the current goal is for the facility to accommodate between 150 and 200 students a semester.

In addition to the nursing program, Gregory said the facility will offer two or three to-be-determined standalone career technical programs as well.

Bill Wagnon, vice president for Public Information at ECCC, said Tuesday they hope to make a more detailed announcement once plans are “more concrete.”

Gregory said they hoped to have something to present as early as mid-November and hoped to have the design finished in time for the Legislative session in January.

Gregory said school officials have been presented with an “initial cost” but said they are not ready to release any “spitball numbers” at this time as they would likely be subject to rising costs in the ongoing design phase.

The proposed ECCC workforce training facility was announced publicly Monday evening at the Philadelphia-Neshoba County Chamber of Commerce banquet by David Vowell, head of the Community Development Partnership.

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