Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College has begun construction on a $15.5 million Nursing and Simulation Center in the Tradition community north of Biloxi.

The college says the center will double the number of nurses who will graduate from MGCCC’s Associate Degree Nursing program.

“Mississippi’s community colleges play a vital role in strengthening the state’s economy by providing both academic and workforce training,"  Gov. Phil Bryant said at a groundbreaking ceremony for the facility. "Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, through its world-class nurse education program, also plays a key role in growing the state’s health care industry. The new Nursing and Simulation Center at Tradition will help the state provide cutting-edge training to even more nurses, who will in turn provide health care to more Mississippians.”

Most of the funding--$12 million--for facility construction comes from Katrina Community Development Block Grant funds; the college itself is allocating $2 million for for equipment and other project costs; and developers of the Tradition planned community have donated $1.5 million in land costs.

The facility will be the community college's 10th location in the four-county district.