PANAMA CITY, Fla. - The Haney Technical Center broke ground on Wednesday to build something much greater than a building - an even brighter future.
"We have a great LPN program - a Licensed Practical Nurse program - and we're very excited that we're going to be able to expand that program," said Haney Director Ann Leonard.
Haney was awarded $970,000 from the state for a Licensed Practical Nursing program expansion project, which will fund renovations to the existing nursing building. The expansion will bring the current space from 3,700 to 6,700 square feet.
"It will allow us to serve more students than we're currently able to serve, and we're hopeful that it will also allow us to offer some additional programs other than just the LPN program," said Leonard.
The additional space will allow Haney to have more classrooms and learning labs. Therefore, allowing the school to increase program enrollment by fifty percent.
"I grew up here, and I watched this go from a little corner with just a couple buildings to what it is today, and it's going to keep on growing because we have a commitment in the faculty and the administration," said Florida Senator George Gainer.
Officials say the groundbreaking brings a great feeling of accomplishment on campus.
"This time last year, we were writing proposals and calling on lots of people in the community to write letters of support for us. The time has finally gotten here that the project is going to actually start and so the faculty is excited. I'm excited, and we're just really looking forward to the expansion," said Leonard.
"It'll give people a chance to fulfill their dreams and do things they've dreamed about before. I mean, that's what this place does," said Gainer.
Currently, less than forty percent of qualified applicants are admitted to the nursing program due to capacity limitations. Officials say that increasing enrollment in the program will help meet the high demand for nurses in Bay and surrounding counties.
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