Pitt Community College Awarded $2 Million Grant
By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector
GREENVILLE NC (January 8, 2015) – A $2 million grant will expand the services offered at Pitt Community College’s proposed Science and Technology Training Center.
U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., announced Thursday that the college will receive the grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration for the construction of the 75,000-square-foot facility.
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The grant will supplement the $18 million Pitt County voters committed when they approved in 2013 a $19.9 million bond referendum to fund the construction of the science center and a new basic law enforcement training facility.
County officials anticipate a 1.85-cent tax increase will be needed to pay off the bond. Pitt County commissioners will finalize plans for financing the project when they approve the fiscal year 2016-17 budget next year, Pitt County Manager Scott Elliott said.
The 75,000-square-foot science building, designed to include biotechnology, physics, astronomy, geology, biology and pre-engineering courses, will be the largest on campus.
“We are hoping to add six more classrooms than was originally planned,” Susan Nobles, PCC vice president for institutional advancement, said.
President G. Dennis Massey and Pitt County officials are scheduled to discuss the project during a news conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today in the Craig F. Goess Student Center.
Butterfield’s announcement said the $2 million grant is expected to create 642 jobs and generate more than $190 million in private investment. The total project is expected to create 1,458 jobs and $439 million in private investment in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries during the next five to 10 years, Nobles said.
The projections are based on job projections supplied by local employers and calculations from the commerce department, Nobles said.
“This has been a year-long project and people have worked very hard, together, to make it possible,” Nobles said.
“This announcement is especially well-timed as PCC and Pitt County Schools are working together to develop more (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) training opportunities in middle schools, high schools and at the community college,” Massey said in a written statement.
“We are elated that they received this additional funding to expand the scope of the building to be constructed,” Elliott said. “The science building is going to have long-term implications to Pitt County and the students who will utilize it for job training. It will be another catalyst for economic development activity in Pitt County.”
John K. Farkas with JKF Architects is designing the facility. Construction bids will be sought this spring or summer, Nobles said.