Standing in a shaded courtyard that serves as the building’s centerpiece, Valencia College leaders and elected officials cut the ribbon yesterday for the $21.7 million Lake Nona Campus.
Valencia’s fifth campus—and the first built in 15 years—features an 83,000 square foot building with 18 smart classrooms, six science labs including a biotech lab, a library, campus store, small café and student services offices. The Lake Nona Campus offers classes toward an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree for transfer to a baccalaureate program, and will train students for careers in the life sciences.
Valencia President Sanford Shugart described the project as rare opportunity to build a campus in a community designed with an overriding vision.
“We didn’t just buy land and build a building, we joined something larger,” he said.
This is the first of four new buildings planned for the 23-acre site. Built by the design-build team of SchenkelShultz Architecture and PPI Construction, it features environmentally friendly design, energy savings lights and air conditioning, reflective roofing materials, recycled construction materials and native landscaping that requires very little piped irrigation.
In his remarks, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer described Valencia as “an integral part of Medical City.”
“The educational components–the middle school, high school, community college and universities–are foundations for everything that is happening,” he said.
Several hundred people turned out for the dedication ceremony and enjoyed tours of the new campus, which opened to students on Aug. 20. In addition to Mayor Dyer, elected officials present were Orlando Commissioner Jim Gray and Osceola County Commissioner Michael Harford. Others guests included former state Sen. Lee Constantine and representatives from the offices of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, U.S. Congresswoman Sandy Adams and U.S. Congressman Daniel Webster.