Continuing Education, Press Releases

Groundbreaking Held at Nash Community College to Celebrate New Center

Photo of various individuals representing the county and college

Pictured from left, Dr. Lew K. Hunnicutt, NCC President, Lt. Col. James Mercer, NCC Board Chair, Wendy Marlowe, NCC Vice President of Continuing Education/Workforce Development and Robbie Davis, Nash County Board of Commissioners Chair

Nash Community College held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Driver Training Center on Wednesday, March 6, 2024.

Various community members attended the ceremony, including NCC Board of Trustee members, NCC Staff and Faculty.

This center will be used for all programs that require a Commercial Drivers License (CDL).

“This new facility will allow us to provide a space for all of our programs that require CDLs,” said Dr. Lew K. Hunnicutt, president of NCC. “Many of our programs like Basic Law Enforcement Training, Fire Services, Emergency Services, Electric Line Construction, Commercial Driving courses require Class A CDL to complete their certifications.”

The new center will sit adjacent to the campus on over 14 acres the college received from Nash County.

“A few years ago, Nash County acquired 23 acres of land adjacent to the campus,” said Dr. Hunnicutt. “The Nash County Board of Commissioners used 5 acres to develop the Pet Connections Adoption Center, which is the same color brick as our school colors, and then they deeded us 14 acres to the college to develop this impactful addition to our facilities.”

The estimated completion is mid-summer and will be over $2.6 million funded from the State and Capital Infrastructure Fund. The center will include storage, restrooms and office space for faculty and staff.

“This has been a long road,” Dr. Hunnicutt expressed. “For some time, we have been utilizing locations around Nash County to fill the need for a space to have our CDL and other programs practice their driving requirements. We would secure vacated buildings and have them approved, then go through that building being purchased and us having to move and find another location. This removes the need and will allow us to become a regional hub for first responder driving training.”

Nash Community College will remain a leader and primary educational partner in elevating the region’s economic prosperity and educational attainment.

“We are excited about this for many reasons, but one of the most important is that this allows us to build upon our goal to serve as Nash County’s Comprehensive Community College,” said Dr. Hunnicutt. “We are a standard for economic and workforce development, and we will take every opportunity to continue to provide the best quality of education and training for Nash County residents and industries.”

Dr. Hunnicutt, Nash County Commissioners’ Chairman Robbie Davis, NCC Board of Trustees Chairman Lt. Col. James Mercer and NCC Vice President of Continuing Education and Economic/Workforce Development Wendy Marlowe all provided comments during the ceremony.

Pictured from left, NCC Board of Trustees, Russell Proctor, III, William Marshburn, Lt. Col. James Mercer, Natalie Brooks, Samuel Dickens, III, Paul Jaber and J. Wayne Outlaw

Chairman Robbie Davis expressed the continued need for community colleges and how important they are to the region’s workforce development.

“The college is committed to providing quality educational and customized training for the county, and we are proud to have such a strong partnership with both them and the public school system,” said Davis. “We often meet with the team here, in addition to Susan Phelps (Nash County Economic Development Manager), who spends a lot of time filling the gaps and putting together offerings that fit the needs of what businesses and industries need.”

Lt. Col. James Mercer currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for NCC and is a longtime member of the NCC family.

“I have spent a long time engaged in this community college, from being a student to now serving as the Chairman of the Board; it has been a full circle moment,” said Mercer. “I am proud of all we have been able to accomplish, and on behalf of the Board of Trustees, our president, and the students, we are thankful to Nash County and the commissioners for their continued support and for deeding us this land to become a regional hub for first responder driving training.”

Oakley Collier Architects completed the architectural design of the new Driver Training Center, and Calvin Davenport, Inc. is handling the center’s construction.

“We are proud to have such a strong partnership with both Oakley Collier Architects and Calvin Davenport, Inc.,” said Paul Jaber, NCC Board of Trustee member. “They have completed various projects for us at NCC, and we are grateful to have foundational community partners.”