HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Next Wednesday, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant will help break ground on a new high-tech training facility in Harrison County. The Nursing and Simulation Center will be built on Highway 67. The project will enhance training for hundreds of nursing students at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
"Any new addition will be great. The program is already a great program. It's solid, provides you with a lot of opportunities, a lot of resources," said MGCCC Nursing student Nicholas Bradley.
"We're very excited about it. These are things we dreamed about happening and they're coming to fruition," said MGCCC President Dr. Mary Graham.
Graham calls the new Nursing and Simulation Center 'a world class facility.'
"It is going to be state-of-the art, one of the only simulation centers along the Mississippi Gulf Coast," said Graham.
The building will be equipped with more than $2-million worth of high-tech equipment, including simulation mannequins that seem quite human-like.
"We have another simulation lab on Seaway Road, and if it's anything like that, it's going to be really amazing," said MGCCC Nursing student Chelsi Lizana.
The $12 million facility will go up two-acres of property at Tradition that was donated to MGCCC for the project. Nursing students from the JD, Jackson County, and Perkinston campuses will all move to the new location.
"That in itself will be a mass undertaking, because we have over 450 students, over 40 faculty members that will come in," said Graham.
Graham hopes to double the enrollment to help meet the rising demand for nurses. The center will continue to provide a two-year nursing program.
"We're aware there is a nursing shortage, and our goal as a community college is to make sure that we provide workers for any void in the workforce," she said. "We'll do some creative things. We'll be offering a night program and possibly a weekend program, so we're excited about the direction we're going in nursing."
Graham also plans to form partnerships with area hospitals and health agencies to offer continuing education and training for their staff.
Construction of the new center should take about 18-months. The groundbreaking ceremony is next Wednesday at 2:30 pm. The center should be ready to open in the fall of 2016.