As you have probably noticed, the campus is a work in progress. I don’t think a day has gone by since I’ve been here that we haven’t been building or renovating, refurbishing or improving.
Earlier this year we put in a pedestrian connector through the parking lot between the Panther Aquatic Center and Olin Quad. Now, we’re finishing up refurbishment on what was Evans Dining Hall. Soon our student groups will be moving in; they’ll have a new study hall, 14 offices, and plenty of space to hold meetings, plan activities and grab some R&R.
The biggest construction project lately, however, is Florida Tech Commons, across Babcock Street from University Plaza. In May, many of the organizations that support students—Enrollment, Admissions, Registrar, Campus Services, Account Management, Financial Aid—will consolidate into the first floor of this new building. Taking over the second floor will be School of Psychology faculty offices and classrooms. The third floor, a medley of organizations, includes Career Management Services, Human Centered Design Institute, External Relations, Administrative Computing, International Student and Scholar Services, Women’s Business Center, Continuing Education and Applied Behavioral Analysis.
I’m sure no one near the Crawford Building or Gleason Performing Arts Center missed the big hole in the ground and noted a building now rising next to Gleason. That will be WFIT’s new 5,000-square-foot offices and studios. The staff is looking forward to climbing out of the first floor of Roberts Hall.
And, you may not know what we’ve been building down in Fellsmere. A new challenge course, mainly for use by the university’s Military Science Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), is just about complete. The course, which takes up about 20 acres, will be one of the biggest and best training courses of its kind in the country. The site includes a parking area, restroom facilities and picnic area. Funded through a $400,000 federal grant, the facility will be owned by the U.S. Army and run by Florida Tech.
Also off the main campus, the River’s Edge property is undergoing renovation to become the new home of Online Learning and Extended Studies.
These changes equate to more we’ll have to offer students and faculty in 2012-2013.