Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Education

St. Petersburg College moves forward with new Midtown campus

It's not that St. Petersburg College stopped caring about the campus with the white paint and red awnings and six classrooms in Midtown. It just outgrew it.

In February the college chose a construction firm as it presses forward with a new Midtown Center at 22nd Street and 13th Avenue S, a three-story building with brick accents.

The $14 million building will have more than twice as many classrooms and a smattering of other student spaces as the college tries to get locals to enroll and perhaps improve the Midtown neighborhood along the way.

The project also might help fill the void in Midtown left by Sweetbay Supermarket's recent decision to leave.

"We expect that this will transform this neighborhood," says Jim Waechter, associate vice president for facilities, planning and institutional services. "We want to bring the education to them."

St. Petersburg College president Bill Law has called the Midtown area "one of the richest for 15- to 35-year-olds in the county." But right now, only 8 to 10 percent of adults identified as eligible students within 5 miles of the campus actually enroll. Most of the college's other campuses take in about 12 to 16 percent of eligible students in the surrounding neighborhoods.

The new Midtown campus will allow students to complete two-year associate degrees, a role the current building is not equipped to handle.

Midtown's enrollment has more than doubled in the last three years to 457. But school officials hope the new building will see the head count bloom into thousands.

In addition to more classroom space, the new building will feature community meeting spaces, a tutoring center, counseling centers, financial aid offices and a library.

A ground breaking is planned for May or June, with construction taking about a year to complete. The new Midtown Center could be registering students for the 2014-15 school year.

As for the old building, the school isn't abandoning it. Officials are trying to buy the original campus from the local housing authority.

"We've really outgrown what's currently there now," says provost Kevin Gordon. But Waechter said the school has other ideas for the site, including a student counseling center or a registration office.

Contact Lisa Gartner at [email protected] You can also follow her on Twitter (@lisagartner).

Comments

Hillsborough school district will pursue two kinds of local taxes

TAMPA — Hillsborough County School District officials took an important step Tuesday toward asking the voters to pay higher taxes for schools that, they say, are not getting enough money from the state.The board voted 5-0 to submit a tax referendum r...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Ethan Hooper steps up with a salute to teachers

Editor’s note: Ethan Hooper wrote today’s column to give Ernest Hooper Father’s Day off.In May, I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in elementary education, and I recently secured a job as a first-grade teacher with Orang...
Published: 06/18/18
AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

AP World History course is dropping thousands of years of human events - and critics are furious

Since 2002, the AP World History course has covered thousands of years of human activity around the planet, starting 10,000 years back. But now the College Board, which owns the Advanced Placement program, wants to cut out most of that history and st...
Published: 06/16/18
School board races attract new faces

School board races attract new faces

TAMPA — When long-time Hillsborough County School Board member Susan Valdes resigned this month from the board to run for the State House of Representatives, the decision affected more than just her seat in west Hillsborough’s District 1.It also coul...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/17/18
Hillsborough schools tax referendum is unlikely for November

Hillsborough schools tax referendum is unlikely for November

TAMPA — Money that the Hillsborough County School District needs to build schools and replace air conditioners might be farther from reach, thanks to a new state law and a bureaucratic process required before the voters can decide on a tax referendum...
Published: 06/14/18
University of Chicago eliminates SAT/ACT requirement

University of Chicago eliminates SAT/ACT requirement

The University of Chicago will no longer require ACT or SAT scores from U.S. students, sending a jolt through elite institutions of higher education as it becomes the first top-10 research university to join the test-optional movement.Numerous school...
Published: 06/14/18
Unhappy with superintendent’s budget wish list, Hernando School Board shuts down talk of tax increase

Unhappy with superintendent’s budget wish list, Hernando School Board shuts down talk of tax increase

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County schools Superintendent Lori Romano presented to the School Board Tuesday nearly $53 million worth of budget priorities, asking them to choose which will be funded in the upcoming school year.The board voted 3-2 later Tue...
Published: 06/13/18
UT shines the spotlight on visiting authors

UT shines the spotlight on visiting authors

The University of Tampa’s MFA program will host the June 2018 Residency Visiting Writers Lectores Series that runs from now until June 21 on the ninth floor of the Vaughn Center, 401 W Kennedy Blvd. Each reading will be held at 7:30 p.m.Each January ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18
Hernando School Board fires Superintendent Lori Romano after member says she ‘lost the public trust’

Hernando School Board fires Superintendent Lori Romano after member says she ‘lost the public trust’

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County schools Superintendent Lori Romano will step down at the end of this month following a 3-2 vote by the School Board to terminate its contract with her amid increasing concerns about her ability to lead.Romano has suffere...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/13/18
Pasco summit aims to merge school cultures while making students feel included

Pasco summit aims to merge school cultures while making students feel included

NEW PORT RICHEY — The dozen Fivay High school students and their administrators arrived at the Pasco County school district’s annual Together We Stand conference with a clear goal in mind.With hundreds of former Ridgewood High students arriving in th...
Published: 06/12/18