College News

CCCC, Harnett break ground for new Health Sciences Building

CCCC, Harnett break ground for new Health Sciences Building

click to enlarge ⊗

Central Carolina Community College and Harnett County broke ground April 12 for the college's new ... (more)

CCCC, Harnett break ground for new Health Sciences Building

click to enlarge ⊗

Central Carolina Community College and Harnett County broke ground April 12 for the college's new ... (more)

CCCC, Harnett break ground for new Health Sciences Building

click to enlarge ⊗

Central Carolina Community College President Bud Marchant (at lectern) addresses the more than 100 ... (more)

CCCC, Harnett break ground for new Health Sciences Building

click to enlarge ⊗

Harnett Health Systems president/CEO Ken Bryan (at lectern) addresses the more than 100 people who ... (more)

04.13.2012College & CommunitySpecial Events

LILLINGTON - Central Carolina Community College and Harnett County broke ground April 12 on a Health Sciences Building that will help to create a new era in health care, employment and economic development in the county, according to speakers at the event.

More than 100 local leaders in education, medical care and government, as well as members of the public, gathered at the Brightwater Science and Technology Campus, in Lillington, for the groundbreaking for the college's new health care training facility.

The state-of-the art, 50,250-square-foot building is scheduled for completion by fall 2013, but it is already an important partner in what CCCC President Bud Marchant called "a medical corridor second to none in North Carolina."

That corridor, along Highway 421, will include the college's building; Harnett Health Systems 50-bed Central Campus Hospital, also in Brightwater; First Choice Community Health Center; and Campbell University's School of Osteopathic Medicine.

"The university, CCCC, Harnett Health Systems and First Choice are working in a coordinated way to bring this training and care to Harnett County," said Ken Bryan, president and CEO of Harnett Health Systems.

He noted that the four organizations will spend a total of $150 million for new construction. The facilities will create about 1,500 jobs over the next three years and attract 40-50 physicians and physician assistants to the area. All this will result in a projected $1 billion in economic development over the next 10 years.

"What we will be able to do is nothing short of miraculous for Harnett County," CCCC President Bud Marchant told the gathering. "CCCC is very proud to be a part of it."

The Health Sciences Building will house CCCC-Harnett health programs, such as nurse aide, phlebotomy, EKG, pharmacy technician, medical assisting, physical therapy assisting, and associate degree nursing. Students will be able to do their clinicals at the hospital.

"We praise CCCC for taking this step," Bryan said. He added that Harnett Health Systems employs many graduates of the college's health care programs.

Tim McNeill, chair of the Harnett County Board of Commissioners, said that the only segment of the North Carolina economy that has been growing during the recession is health care.

"This state-of-the-art facility will be putting people back to work," he said. "Young people won't need a four-year degree to get a good job."

Speakers for the groundbreaking were Marchant, McNeill, Bryan, CCCC Board of Trustees Chair Julian Philpott, and Red Rock Developments CEO William Smith Jr. All credited the vision and determination of the county and college leaders in bringing the dream of a health education facility to reality. Red Rock Developments is developing the project, which is designed by BBH Design and will be built by Brasfield-Gorrie contractors.

After the groundbreaking, Oscar Aylor, director of development for Harnett Health Systems, said that, because of the partnership, health care education and service in Harnett was being literally transformed.

"I can't think of another county in the state that has this opportunity," he said. "What we are seeing is unprecedented - and that's not an overstatement."

He added that the coming together of the organizations to transform health care in the county reminded him of the growth of the University of North Carolina medical facilities. He served on the faculty of UNC for 10 years.

"They started building and they haven't stopped," he said. "It's going to be that way here."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Dunn micropolitan area, which includes all of Harnett County, had the largest increase in population of any micropolitan area in the nation between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011. It gained 4,578 residents, bringing the total to 119,256. Harnett is growing fast, but it is still a rural county.

Julian Philpott, chair of the CCCC Board of Trustees, quoted a study showing that residents of rural areas tend to have less access to health care than those in urban areas, so the Health Sciences Building groundbreaking and the coordination that has taken place are very important.

"My hope is that, years from now, we'll look back at this day as one of the most important in improving the quality of life in Harnett County," Philpott said. "We all have dreams for a better life. Today, we are participating to have our individual dreams become a collective reality."