SPC to build $4.8M education center near VA hospital
St. Petersburg College is seeking firms to design and build a $4.8 million learning complex on the Intracoastal Waterway. The new state budget, signed Monday by Gov. Rick Scott, sets aside $2.5 million for the Bay Pines Learning Center. Construction is set to start next spring and be complete by late 2015.
According to the school, the center will provide undergraduate research opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math. It will also offer professional development for faculty and teachers.
"This will be a completely new environment for studying environmental and marine science," said John Chapin, dean of natural sciences at SPC. "This environment will get people excited about science."
The center will be built on a finger of land immediately northwest of C.W. Bill Young VA Medical Center (formerly Bay Pines), facing Ciega Bay. It will include a classroom building, a space for student research projects, a multipurpose building, a dock and saltwater tanks for specimens.
The school also envisions using the facility for summer camps, science fairs and other events.
Want to be an 'Elite Educator?'
St. Petersburg College and the Pinellas County School District are looking for applicants to sign on for their new "Elite Educator" program, a joint effort aimed at boosting the quality of teachers in the district.
The four-year teacher training course aims to change the way teachers prepare for careers in the classroom and will focus on elementary education, with financial incentives for applicants to enroll for the coming school year. The program will incorporate science, reading, technology, math and child development, as well as teaching disabled students and English language learners.
Program participants commit to working at a Pinellas school after graduation. Interested applicants can contact the SPC education college at (727) 712-5888 or (727) 712-5410, or visit spcollege.edu/elite.