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PCC most crowded community college in NC, officials want more space

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WINTERVILLE, N.C. -

Pitt Community College has the most crowded campus in our state.

With enrollment hitting record highs this fall, administrators are looking for new ways to accommodate all their students.

Over the past six years, the college's enrollment has grown 38 percent, topping out at 23,000 students in 2012.

School officials explain the recent growth as a sign of the economy.

"Traditionally when economics generally go down, community college enrollments go up," says Joanne Ceres, director of enrollment management and registrar.

While state lawmakers made harsh cuts to education this year, Ceres says the college actually got more money because it's growing so fast.

 "We were one of only six colleges in the entire state that experienced enrollment growth last year," she says. "Because of that, we were able to have the funds to be able to add on, hire some additional instructors, to add on additional course sections."

It's called "performance based allocation" and it amounted to $297,632.

To accommodate all the students, administrators want to build a new science building and relocate the school's basic law enforcement training facility.  It will cost $19.9 million, which they hope voters will approve as property tax hike on the ballot this November.

"Because health sciences is one of our most rapidly growing programs, we want to be able to accommodate those students and a new science building will certainly help us to do that,"  Ceres says.

--- Original Story ---

It's go time for administrators at Pitt Community College. Over the next few months, they'll be reaching out to voters to gain approval for a $19.9 million bond referendum.

The money will cover the costs of a new science building and the relocation of the college's basic law enforcement training facility. PCC's President was delighted when the board of county commissioners approved the referendum.

"We know it's a sacrifice on their part, but we feel that we've produced a good product here. We train many local residents and we feel it is a strong investment for the future of Pitt County and the people that are going into the workforce." Dr. Dennis Massey said.

If approved in November, Massey anticipates the projects will be ready in 2 years.

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