By Keilah Goff, The Daily Record of Dunn
Bill Tyson, Central Carolina Community College Harnett County provost, and Dr. T.E. "Bud" Marchant, president of CCCC, shared details of the new Dunn Enrichment Center opening soon on the renovated historic Harnett Training School campus.
The Harnett Training School property, owned by the City of Dunn, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places August 2014. The $9.5 million renovation includes a restored gymnasium for the Police Athletic League (PAL) program, and improved classrooms, which will be utilized by Central Carolina Community College and the Senior Center. The project also features affordable senior apartments.
During the July 2014 Dunn City Council meeting, Mayor Oscar Harris outlined unforeseen complications with financing the renovations of the former Harnett Training School buildings -- complications which threatened to halt the project.
The campus was used by the city to house the Dunn PAL program and Senior Center, with plans to convert the main building into senior apartments. PAL operations were relocated to 610 Fairground Road -- what was then thought to be a temporary location until the program could be moved back to the campus after renovations.
The project hit a roadblock in May 2014 when the city was notified that to remain eligible for tax credits, Internal Revenue Service rules prohibited the city from leasing renovated property back to same user for the same purpose as before renovations. This stipulation encompassed PAL and the Senior Center operations.
As part of the original resolution for the renovation project, the city will lease the property to the Harnett Training School LLC (HTS), the operating company that is comprised of the Dunn Community Development Corporation and Scott A. Redinger Inc. The property will then be sub-leased by HTS.
City officials realized the IRS rule prevented PAL from leasing more than 50 percent of the campus property. PAL will be allowed to lease the gymnasium from HTS, which falls just below the 50 percent mark. To maintain the needed tax credits, HTS had to sub-lease a portion of the property to another entity to comply with the IRS.
Mayor Harris and Assistant City Manager Steven Neuschafer negotiated with Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) to become a leaseholder for the classroom, multi-use and Senior Center buildings.
In their address to the Dunn Rotary Club's meeting last Thursday, Dr. Marchant and Mr. Tyson explained what the college has in mind for its new Dunn Campus -- what they are calling the Dunn Enrichment Center.
Dr. Marchant told the audience that since coming to CCCC in 1984, Mr. Tyson has wanted a building in Dunn.
"With Bill's persistence -- and a little bit of luck -- we have been able to come up with a truly unique facility," said Dr. Marchant.
Mr. Tyson explained the former cafeteria will house the Central Carolina Community College Culinary Institute, similar to the CCCC culinary program in Chatham County.
"I have wanted a culinary program here in this county for some time, but, we just didn't have the right spot," said Mr. Tyson.
The two-year hospitality and culinary arts program will offer an associate degree focusing on a farm-to-table curriculum. Students will qualify for positions such as sous chef, executive chef or foodservice manager. Additionally, the degree articulates with the culinary programs offered at Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte.
The program will also offer certificate courses in culinary fundamentals, and continuing education enrichment classes and cooking programs.
Mr. Tyson also promised a CCCC version of the popular "Barbecue University."
According to Mr. Tyson, the college will move barbering classes from CCCC's Western Harnett campus.
"What was the Dunn Senior Building -- about 5,000 square feet -- is going to become a barber school, and we'll have our Dunn senior activities like those that have been going on before, just with the college's imprint on those kinds of things," he said.
The Dunn Enrichment Center Education Building will house classrooms, which will include a science lab for college credit courses, creative retirement programs, small business seminars and continuing education workforce training classes.
It will also include Career and College Promise Pathways college courses for high school students. Mr. Tyson explained that through the Career and College Promise program, CCCC allied with Harnett County schools to offer high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take college courses at no charge and receive college credit.
CCCC will host an open house and ribbon cutting at the new Dunn Enrichment Center Tuesday from 3 until 6 p.m.
Central Carolina Community College President Dr. Bud Marchant, left, and Harnett County campus Provost Bill Tyson at the Dunn Rotary meeting last week, describing offerings at the new Dunn Enrichment Center. Photo by Daily Record Photo/Lisa Farmer