Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Education

Saint Leo University plans new plant operations center, amphitheater and art studio

ST. LEO — Replacing an operations plant doesn't sound like an exciting project for Saint Leo's newly acquired property, administrators admit, but plans for the freed up space will be.

An art studio is slated to take the spot of the plant, which houses the university maintenance department and stores tools and other heavy equipment. Those functions will move to new land on the far western edge of the land bought in October from the Benedictine Sisters of Florida.

That property currently houses Holy Name Monastery, and the nuns plan to move next year to a new home across the street.

"Our current operations plant is right smack in the middle of campus," said Jeanne Plecenik, vice president of business affairs. "It kind of makes more sense."

A warehouse also will be built next to new operations plant.

Plecenik said the new buildings will be landscaped and designed to be compatible with the other peach and cream-colored buildings on campus.

"We'll have it blend in and look nice," he said. "Nobody wants to drive by and see a warehouse."

Administrators hope to make the move quickly.

"It'll be done in December," Plecenik said. "It's always easiest to do big moves when we don't have students here."

The plans come after the university paid $3.9 million for 37 acres, which are next to St. Leo Abbey and the university, which has grown rapidly in recent years.

Enrollment is booming, and Saint Leo has added several facilities in the past couple of years, including two new residence halls, expanded sports facilities and a 50,000-square-foot building housing the School of Business.

Other plans include razing Crawford Hall, where the art students currently study, and replacing it with a new academic building in 2015.

An amphitheater also is planned for this year, which marks the 40th anniversary of Saint Leo serving military bases. Officials hope to have that done by Veterans Day. It will be set into the hill overlooking Lake Jovita, next to the library.

"This is going to be an exciting two years for Saint Leo at University campus," said Cynthia Brannen, chairwoman of the university's board of trustees and a 1992 graduate. "We hope the community comes to visit us often for concerts, events and activities."

As for the old monastery, plans have not been announced, but Plecenik said it will likely house offices.

"That's the simplest conversion," she said. "Our faculty is growing."

A lake house also on the property will most likely be renovated.

"We'd like to have some large meeting spaces," Plecenik said.

Comments
Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

TAMPA — Teachers in Hillsborough County came closer on Wednesday to reaching an agreement with the school district that would give them most, but not all of the pay they expected this past year.The deal, if it happens, will end a year-long conflict t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ridgewood High faithful recall ‘Pride of Pasco’ as school forges a new path

Ridgewood High faithful recall ‘Pride of Pasco’ as school forges a new path

NEW PORT RICHEY — The line snaked through the hallways and into the cafeteria, as the Ridgewood High faithful waited for their chance to secure a piece of the school’s 40-year history.They came by the hundreds — current and former students, staff and...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Words of wisdom from Class of 2018 on how school shootings have transformed them

Words of wisdom from Class of 2018 on how school shootings have transformed them

TAMPA — The pain of the Parkland shootings Feb. 14 was fresh on the minds of Hillsborough County’s graduating seniors when about 300 of them received an assignment. Write a 250-word essay on how decades of school shootings have touched y...
Published: 05/23/18
Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

Sheriff: Weeki Wachee High student posted fake school shooting threat

WEEKI WACHEE — A 16-year-old was arrested Tuesday on allegations that she created a fake social media post threatening to shoot students at Weeki Wachee High School, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.Deputies said the 16-year-old told...
Published: 05/22/18
Hillsborough school district, teachers move closer to pay deal

Hillsborough school district, teachers move closer to pay deal

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School District and its teachers’ union moved closer to resolving their salary dispute during Monday’s negotiating session — but stopped short of reaching an agreement.The teachers, who have spent this school year work...
Published: 05/21/18
Updated: 05/22/18
Parents score victory in effort to make travel safer for Westchase students

Parents score victory in effort to make travel safer for Westchase students

TAMPA — Hillsborough County school leaders call it courtesy busing, but to Lauren Hawkins it’s more a matter of life and death.More students living close to their schools in the Westchase community used the Hillsborough school district’s courtesy bus...
Published: 05/21/18
Eckerd College hosts a royal celebration of its own

Eckerd College hosts a royal celebration of its own

A day after England’s royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, St. Petersburg hosted a royal celebration of its own. Among the estimated 500 graduates to receive an Eckerd College diploma at Sunday’s graduation ceremony held...
Published: 05/20/18
Updated: 05/21/18

Hooper: SEL lends a solution to the increasingly toxic world of kids

An incident recently arose between students at Jesuit High School and Academy of the Holy Names that involved allegations of cyberbullying, homophobia, misogyny and assault.It only involved a fraction of the students at two of Tampa’s most prestigiou...
Updated: 3 hours ago
At vigil, another school mourns: ‘It is hope in the face of tragedy that brings us together today.’

At vigil, another school mourns: ‘It is hope in the face of tragedy that brings us together today.’

SANTA FE, Texas - They gathered here by the dozens Friday evening, wearing their school colors, T-shirts that said "Texas Tough," while huddling under the shade of a gaggle of pine trees, not 11 hours after the first shots were fired.They came to pra...
Published: 05/19/18
‘I always felt it would eventually happen here’: A Santa Fe High School survivor’s reaction to the shooting

‘I always felt it would eventually happen here’: A Santa Fe High School survivor’s reaction to the shooting

Paige Curry tried to keep calm Friday morning as a gunman tore through her Santa Fe High School, eventually killing 10 people and injuring another 10. The 17-year-old watched as a girl nearby panicked. Curry, herself terrified, considered running out...
Published: 05/19/18