DUNN - Progress continues at Central Carolina Community College's new Dunn Center, with selected programs planned to begin in Fall 2015.
The college is one of over 22 agencies involved in the renovation of the former Harnett High School, which is on the North Carolina Historic Preservation Office study list.
A group of public and college officials recently toured the facility to see the progress being made.
"It's the most important thing that has happened to the City of Dunn for a long time," said Dunn Mayor Oscar Harris. "We were able to merge a partnership and put it together so that it works for all the people -- for the students, for the college, and for the City of Dunn. It's going to be very beneficial for a lot of people."
Sen. Ronald Rabin, who serves Harnett, Johnston, and Lee counties, said the project means a ton for the community. "It's going to serve multi-communities in the area," he said.
"I'm excited about what I see happening," said Jim Burgin, Chairman of the Harnett County Board of Commissioners and a member of the CCCC Board of Trustees. "I believe the community college system is alive and well in Harnett County."
Burgin noted that he believes the Dunn Center will offer opportunities for citizens on the eastern side of Harnett County. "I encourage every Harnett citizen to take at least one course at the community college," said Burgin.
Julian Philpott, Chairman of CCCC's Board of Trustees, noted, "You're going to end up with a facility that I know everybody's going to be proud of. We're going to be proud of it at the community college. And a lot of great things are going to happen here in Dunn."
"I think it's a terrific opportunity for all parties concerned, for the college, for the community, for the city," said CCCC Trustee Clem Medley, who has served as chairman of the Dunn Community Development Corporation. "It just opens up a world of opportunities to do many different things."
CCCC would use four areas of the renovated school property:
CCCC President T.E. Marchant said the lives that will be changed at the Dunn Center will be phenomenal. "It changed lives a long time ago in its first life, and now in its second life it's going to start changing lives again. It's going to be great ... and it's going to be beautiful."
CCCC Harnett Provost Bill Tyson said the college has been interested in providing opportunities in the Dunn area. "When this came along, this is just what we needed in terms of what we as a college want to do for our students in this area and for the community as well," he said.
Dunn Assistant City Manager Steven Neuschafer has said it took the city nearly six years to organize and facilitate the ability to do this project through various sources.
Other aspects of the project include the renovation and building of affordable senior apartments, as well as renovated space for the Dunn Police Athletic League and The Enrichment Center.
For more information about Central Carolina Community College, visit www.cccc.edu.
Among the officials attending a tour of Central Carolina Community College's Dunn Center facilities are, left to right: Pat Fitzgerald, representing U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers; Harnett County Commissioner Gordon Springle; CCCC Trustee Chairman Julian Philpott; Dunn Mayor Oscar Harris; Harnett County Commissioners Chairman Jim Burgin; and State Sen. Ronald Rabin.
Chef Gregg Hamm, who is Executive Director of the Central Carolina Culinary Institute, shows off the Dunn Center's cafeteria area that will house the Central Carolina Culinary Institute program in Harnett County.
Bill Tyson, Central Carolina Community College Harnett County Provost, visits with State Sen. Ronald Rabin and Harnett County Commissioners Chairman Jim Burgin during a tour of the CCCC Dunn Center facilities.
Bill Tyson (at left), Central Carolina Community College Harnett County Provost, shows off one of the facilities that the college will utilize at the Dunn Center.