HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - The site for Pearl River Community College’s $11.6 million Aviation Aerospace Workforce Academy has been dormant for some time. However, a huge financial piece of that puzzle is in place, so they can get construction and engineering at the site going.
It comes through the latest batch of Gulf Coast Restoration Funding money, $1.9 million to be exact, which now mixes with federal, state local and private funding measures to get this project off the ground.
“We’re very appreciative to provide a state of the art campus here in Hancock County. Not only is it a game changer here in our area but it’s a game changer in the state and the entire Gulf Coast region,” said Angie Kothmann, PRCC government and community relations director. “We couldn’t have picked a better location for our campus. We’re right next door to the only career tech facility that serves three high schools in our district area, in addition to Stennis Airport, and all the industry around us.”
Speaking of Stennis International Airport, jets and planes could be operating on a new airstrip planned to run parallel to the airport’s current runway. More GCRF funding is paving the way for that plan to take flight, along with continued work on two massive airplane hangars.
“We’re standing in the first hangar that was possible through these restore funds,” said Bill Cotter, Hancock Port & Harbor Commission CEO. “There’s the second hangar and the airstrip and we’re very appreciative of our state legislators for moving this project forward.”
On Thursday, Stennis International also became one of 390 airports in 39 states to receive an FAA infrastructure and safety grant for facility upgrades. That funding adds up to $1.37 million.