POPLARVILLE – Lighting and other amenities for a new outdoor walking track at Pearl River Community College will be possible with the help of a grant from the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation.The Foundation recently approved a $68,000 grant to PRCC for the project.PRCC received $268,270 from the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation in January to upgrade fitness equipment in the Wellness Center and to construct the walking track.The college established the Wellness Center in 1996 to provide a safe exercise environment for the college and the community and to house the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. The center served more than 2,500 students, faculty, staff and area residents during the 2010-11 academic year.When the Wellness Center first came into being, we anticipated a varied range of activities that these students, staff and members of the community could derive benefit from as a result of its development, said Dr. Ted Alexander, chief executive officer of the foundation. This gives us one more component that will provide for the general health and well-being of those served by PRCC.Alexander was president of PRCC when the Wellness Center was built.The walking track, about a mile in length, is under construction behind the the Wellness Center/Nursing Building and circles an existing small lake. The Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation grant will help fund the lighting and emergency call boxes, fitness stations and restroom facilities.Much of the work is being done by instructors and students in PRCC construction equipment operation and utility lineman programs as well as the college physical plant staff.I would like to thank Dr. Alexander and the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation on behalf of Pearl River Community College and the community we serve for funding this project, said Tara Rouse, Wellness Center director. It is wonderful that the foundation cares about the health and well-being of the community.Under the terms of the BCBS grant, the walking track is to be finished by the start of the 2012-13 academic year.
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