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Major West Harnett Center grant received

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SANFORD — A $647,620 Facilities and Equipment grant from the NorthrnCarolina Community College System will turn a planned West HarnettrnCenter for Central Carolina Community College into a reality.

Groundrncould be broken as early as January for the 8,500-square-foot facility,rnwhich will be located in the Western Harnett Industrial Park, offrnHighway 87. The Center will house a barbering program, welding shop,rncomputer lab for computer-related classes, two classrooms and arnmulti-purpose shop.

“We can now movernforward with our commitment to the citizens in western Harnett County,”rnsaid Bill Tyson, CCCC Harnett County provost. “Hopefully, we’ll be inrnthe new building by the end of 2007.”

ThernCenter will offer worker training for companies who locate in the parkrnand the area, as well as educational opportunities for residents ofrnwestern Harnett County. Residents currently travel to Sanford,rnLillington, Fayetteville or Pinehurst to attend a community college.

“Wernare delighted that the NCCCS awarded us the full amount requested inrnorder to complete the Center,” said Dr. Matt Garrett, CCCC president.rn“Western Harnett is experiencing rapid growth and that will onlyrnincrease as Base Realignment and Closure brings more military personnelrnand related businesses to the area. The Center will be a major benefitrnto the college and the community.”

Inrn2006, the General Assembly budgeted $15 million to the NCCCS forrnstatewide community college facility and equipment needs. The NCCCSrnawarded grants based on applications from community colleges forrnprojects to be funded. Of the 58 community colleges in the state, 55rnapplied for grants. CCCC was one of only 18 that received a grant.

Therncollege has wanted to build a center in western Harnett for severalrnyears. In 2003, the Harnett Forward Together Committee, an organizationrndevoted to economic development in the county, gave the college 15rnacres on which to build in the Western Harnett Industrial Park.

CCCCrnand the county Board of Commissioners budgeted about $1.17 million forrnconstruction of an 8,500-square-foot facility. The project was bid inrnJune, but the low bid was $1.97 million, $800,000 over budget due torninflation in the cost of construction materials. The commissionersrnagreed to provide an additional $150,000 as a grant match, if therncollege could obtain the NCCCS grant.

Thursday,rnGarrett announced to a meeting of the HFTC, that he had received wordrnthat the college would be approved for the grant. That approval wasrnofficially completed at a Friday meeting of the NCCCS Facilities GrantrnProcess Committee.

“This is a big dayrnfor Central Carolina Community College,” said Vonna Viglione, resourcesrndevelopment coordinator for the NCCCS.

JohnsonrnTilghman, chairman of the Harnett Forward Together Committee, said thatrnthe committee and the county are talking to companies about locating inrnthe Western Harnett Industrial Park. The companies are enthusiasticrnabout having a college center within the park for worker training,rncalling it “a huge asset.”

“We couldn’t bernmore excited or pleased,” Tilghman said. “The center is truly arncatalyst for growth of the park and for the education of people inrnwestern Harnett.”

Credit for receiving therngrant can be shared by everyone at the college, according to HollyAnnrnRogers, CCCC grants writer/coordinator.

“Therncollege has received a Superior Performance rating from the NCCCS forrnthe past two years,” she said. “Extra points were awarded for that inrnthe application evaluation process. Every person at the college canrntake credit for this grant and feel proud of it because all wererninvolved in achieving the Superior Performance rating.”

Shernsaid she also believes the college received the grant because it wasrnnot just an idea the college was proposing, but a project that had beenrnplanned and budgeted for, but which just needed additional funding torncome to completion.

The NCCCS alsornannounced Friday that CCCC has been awarded a $270,595 Allied Healthrngrant for its new dental assisting/dental hygienist training facilityrnin the Central Carolina Dental Center on Vance Street. The collegernrecently received a $223,006 GoldenLEAF grant to add six additionalrnpatient service stations, bringing the number to 12.

PendingrnAmerican Dental Association initial accreditation, the dental assistingrnprogram is scheduled to start in the spring and the dental hygienistrnprogram in the fall.