CLAYTON – A signing event was held Wednesday afternoon in Clayton for representatives with Grifols, Johnston Community College (JCC) and the Town of Clayton. Grifols signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) stating their intent to donate nearly 100 acres of land to JCC and the Town of Clayton. The land is located at the intersection of Highway 70 and Highway 42 East.
Brian Stoker, a corporate affairs representative for Grifols, said the company has over 1,600 employees at their Clayton campus making life-saving human plasma. In the company’s 110 year history Grifols has always supported local communities and the land donation was a way of giving back to the community that has meant so much.
County Commissioner Butch Lawter said the land donation was a giant step forward in making dreams happen in Johnston County and Clayton.
Mayor Jody McLeod said he was grateful for the gift and thanked Grifols for their vision. The land donation, dubbed Project Goodwill, had been in the works for the past several years. “Project Goodwill is the best unkept secret in Johnston County… The gift today will sustain us for decades and decades.”
JCC President Dr. David Johnson agreed saying, “Many of our dreams are coming true.”
JCC hopes to use a portion of the property to operate a Clayton campus. Dr. Johnson said there is exponential growth in the Clayton area and JCC is losing approximately 1200 Johnston County residents to other nearby community college systems each year. A presence in Clayton could change that. JCC wants to construct two buildings on the property. The first for administrative offices and general classrooms. The second building would house the Advanced Technology Center.
To fund the JCC Clayton campus, Dr. Johnson hopes a bond referendum can be put before voters in 2022 with construction starting in 2024 or 2025. He noted the property needs clearing and “lots of site work” before the project can begin.
The project is also contingent on the NC Railroad Company, which owns 72 acres with road frontage on Highway 42 East. JCC and the Town of Clayton will need access across the NC Railroad parcel to access parts of the pending Grifols land gift.
Chris Healey, President of Grifols North America Corporate Affairs, call the land gift a “win-win all the way around” for the company, college and Town of Clayton.