BCCC Breaks Ground on Public Services Driving Pad
Construction started on the largest public driving pad in North Carolina, and Beaufort County Community College celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony. Beaufort County Commission Chair Jerry Evans, BCCC President Dr. Dave Loope, BCCC Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Robert Cayton, Beaufort County Sheriff Ernie Coleman, Charlie Manning of B.E. Singleton and Jim Stumbo of Stewart Cooper Newell Architects broke ground on the new asset to Beaufort County.
“We serve four counties–2,100 square miles, the largest footprint of any community college in North Carolina–and we serve EMS, fire and law enforcement agencies in all four of these, from Old Ford to Ocracoke,” said Dr. Dave Loope. “This is a state-of-the-art installation for North Carolina; the largest public driving pad in the state. It’s going to do a lot of good for a lot of people, not just in our four-county region, but we’re going to be able to offer it to people from around the east, and, indeed, over to Raleigh and beyond to come and do training here. It’s really a dramatic step forward for us with respect to our training capabilities here on campus.”
The BCCC Board of Trustees awarded construction of the bond-funded project to B.E. Singleton & Sons on February 28. BCCC will use the public services driving pad, part of its Emergency Training and Workforce Complex, to train emergency medical personnel, firefighters and law enforcement officers earning certifications at the college, as well as from across the state.
BCCC initially proposed the public services driving pad as part of the Connect NC bond referendum in 2016. The driving pad is the largest of the projects that were proposed for bond funding.
“The new driving pad will become a very valuable asset for Beaufort County and a great resource to other fire & rescue, EMS providers located in our region of North Carolina,” said Jerry Evans. “It will provide training for public safety providers like the sheriff’s department, first responders, fire & rescue folks and EMS. This facility will also provide a staging area during a natural disaster like hurricane, a tornado or a flood event.”
“The project is providing employment opportunities for many workers that live right here,” said Charlie Manning. He also listed facts about the project. “We’re hauling in 47,000 cubic yards of borrow material to raise the elevation. That’s 4,000 truckloads. We’re hauling 17,000 tons of stone from Rocky Mount. There’s over 10,000 tons of asphalt covering 7.6 acres.”
The 500’ x 600’ pad will have a 400’ x 40’ pursuit lane and stadium lighting to enable nighttime training. The project includes a stormwater retention pond and will be built on a cotton field on the east side of the BCCC campus between Building 12 and the fire training facility.
“You don’t feel the impact of what these guys do day in and day out until you’ve seen a loved one hauled away in an ambulance,” said Jim Stumbo. “The training that this will provide to these folks—it is what saves your lives, my life, our loved ones.”
The college anticipates completing the project by November, 2019.