Hinds Community College’s Jackson Campus-Nursing/Allied Health Center is getting 11.5 acres of property and two buildings in a swap with the Hinds County Board of Supervisors that will allow expansion of programs and teaching labs, create parking and possibly build an elevated walkway as a safety measure.
“This will be a great asset for our Nursing and Allied Health Center,” said Hinds President Dr. Clyde Muse. “It’ll give us room to grow.”
The NAHC expansion is “going to create new opportunity, business development and jobs in that area,” said Hinds County District 4 Supervisor Tony Greer.
In exchange, 11 employees of the Hinds County Extension Service, a part of the Mississippi State University Cooperative Extension Service, will relocate from their building on Wilson Boulevard to Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond, perhaps as soon as before Christmas, Muse said.
Three classrooms will be renovated for their office space. Renovations are already on the drawing board, and furniture has been ordered, Muse said.
A bonus for the Hinds County Extension Service is it will be around the corner from the MSU Extension Service office on Seven Springs Road, a factor that initially led to the discussion between Muse and Extension Agent Theresa Hand.
“We are extremely excited about moving to Eagle Ridge Conference Center. The Extension Service has had a long standing partnership with Hinds Community College. This move will enhance our educational programming efforts in Hinds County and Central Mississippi,” she said.
The Hinds County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution accepting the plan on Sept. 2, the day that Muse presented it. “We’ve been talking about this for about two years,” Muse said. “We’ve got good leadership on the Board of Supervisors.”
The property is across the street from NAHC and behind Hinds’ George Ball Simulation Center on Hospital Drive, which opened in January 2014. Central Mississippi Medical Center on Chadwick Drive is west of the new property.
Among the plans for the new property is a surgical simulation center, similar to the current Ball Simulation Center for nursing and allied health programs. That could go into the building now occupied by the Hinds County Extension Service, said Bill Campbell, Hinds architect.
“It’s really the only way we could expand our programs or start new ones,” said Dr. Libby Mahaffey, dean of Hinds Community College’s Nursing and Allied Health programs. “We were also out of faculty offices. When you expand program, you hire faculty. That gives us this opportunity.”
Right now, a health care assistant program is having lab in a classroom because no lab space was available. “It’s not ideal,” Mahaffey said.
For years, NAHC has been borrowing parking at the Extension Service, but “we’ll own the parking now and can better manage it,” she said.
The second building located on the property is now being used for storage but is in disrepair and may need to be torn down, Campbell said.
Plans also call for a family lodge to be built on the northwest corner of the property for families of burn victims being treated at CMCC, much like a Ronald McDonald house.
CMMC has the only designated burn center in Mississippi, said CMMC CEO Charlotte W. Dupre’.
“CMMC is looking forward to fulfilling a critical need for burn patient families,” she said. “Burn patients come from throughout our state, as well as neighboring states, to our facility for treatment.
“I would like to commend Dr. Muse and the staff of Hinds Community College, together with the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, for creating this partnership that will provide land for the Burn Foundation to develop a place to stay for family members who are supporting our burn patients during recovery,” she said.
Amanda Fontaine, Burn Center executive director, echoed her thoughts. “One of the goals of the Mississippi Burn Foundation is to provide a ‘home away from home’ for the burn patients and their family members,” Fontaine said. “We are one step closer to making that goal a reality.”