Hinds Community College to expand in property swap

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Hinds Community College will expand its nursing and allied health programs in Jackson after agreeing to move Mississippi State extension service employees to college property in Raymond.

The Hinds County Board of Supervisors voted Sept. 2 to accept the swap.

The college will gain use of 11.5 acres and two buildings. President Clyde Muse says one building will be renovated to house classrooms. The property adjoins the college's current nursing and allied health programs near Central Mississippi Medical Center.

The college could use the property for a surgical simulation center to help train students. There will also be expanded parking, and the college may build an elevated walkway to knit together the expanded campus.

"It's really the only way we could expand our programs or start new ones," Dr. Libby Mahaffey, dean of the college's nursing and allied health programs, said in a statement. "We were also out of faculty offices. When you expand program, you hire faculty. That gives us this opportunity."

For example, a health care assistant program is conducting laboratory instruction in a classroom because no lab space is available.

The 11 extension service employees will relocate to Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond, possibly as early as Christmas. Another extension office is already located on nearby Seven Springs Road in Raymond. Hinds President Clyde Muse said that's part of what sparked the discussion.

"The extension service has had a long-standing partnership with Hinds Community College," Extension Agent Theresa Hand said in a statement. "This move will enhance our educational programming efforts in Hinds County and central Mississippi," she said.

Plans also call for a lodge for families of burn victims being treated at the hospital, Mississippi's only burn center.

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