POPLARVILLE, Miss. – Pearl River Community College’s Aviation and Aerospace Workforce Academy Hangar is one step closer to coming to life as the construction for the state-of-the-art facility is going out to bid. The process opens Wednesday and will close at 10 a.m., Friday, Sept. 17, 2021.
“We are grateful for the countless hours of work and support that we have received from several different governmental entities to get us to this point,” said Pearl River Community College President Dr. Adam Breerwood. “It has been a long but necessary process. I felt like it was Christmas morning when I opened the email providing us permission to begin advertisement for the construction bid process.”
The Aviation and Aerospace Workforce Academy will be adjacent to Stennis International Airport, Hancock High School and the Stennis Space Center Buffer Zone.
Department of Economic Development Administration, Gulf Coast Restoration Funds, BP RESTORE Act grant award, as well as state and local investments are making the PRCC Aviation and Aerospace Workforce Academy and Hangar a reality.
“This is a great day for Pearl River Community College, Hancock County and all of our surrounding business and industry partners,” Breerwood said. “Our local, state and federal leadership have focused on job creation and enhancing the skills of our local workforce. We have embraced that vision and believe this new campus will serve as an economic engine for generations to come. We are ready to go.”
When completed, the approximately 18,000 square foot hangar will contain three classrooms with labs, an open hangar area with hands-on lab stations, outdoor covered area for equipment training, lobby with reception area, faculty and staff offices.
Direct runway access will allow for study and testing of operational vehicles with attention given to state-of-the art composites and sheet metal materials. Aviation systems and power plant design, repair and maintenance can be studied, performed and tested in real time on operational equipment. In addition to the Stennis International Airport runways, the hangar will have direct access to service and fueling facilities.
“We are excited to advance to this phase toward the construction of the new PRCC Hancock Campus,” said Dr. Jennifer Seal, Vice President for Hancock Campus. “The new hangar will provide a multifunctional educational space for training local students to meet current and future industry needs.”
Airframe & Propulsion Technology, Unmanned Arial Systems and Precision Manufacturing programs will be housed at the hangar. Unmanned Arial Systems is currently offered at PRCC’s existing Hancock Campus; new hydrography classes were recently added. More pathways will be added once the facility opens.
“As we move forward to provide a state-of-the art campus in Hancock County, we know the real work begins now,” said Director of Government & Community Relations Angie Kothmann. “This facility and our programs will be a game changer for not only Hancock County and the State of Mississippi, but the entire Gulf Coast region for many generations to come.”