Kissimmee, FL — Valencia College will break ground on a new $35 million building on its Osceola Campus in a ceremony to be held Sept. 22.
The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 9:15 a.m.
The new four-story building, designated Building 4, will be the largest building on any Valencia campus – with 150,000 square feet in academic and support space.
Expected to open to students in spring of 2013, the building will house the campus library, cafeteria, bookstore, classrooms, science labs and a learning support center that will contain tutoring stations, computers and small-group study rooms.
Designed in Southern California “mission style” architecture, the building has two wings attached by a four-story atrium. The library also features a curved, two-story space with windows overlooking the lawn and commons area.
The building was designed by Hunton Brady Architects. Clancy & Theys is the project’s construction manager.
Landscaping and gathering spaces were considered an integral part of the design, said Kathleen Plinske, president of the Osceola Campus. “Whether it’s indoor or outdoor, we’re so crowded that there aren’t good places for students to spend time with their friends or with professors on campus,” Plinske said.
So Plinske, along with Valencia’s president, Dr. Sanford Shugart, and the design team from Hunton Brady Architects, designed the building around a green space – creating a “Jeffersonian” lawn, similar to that found at the University of Virginia.
“Dr. Shugart was thinking of a plaza space, with student activities, seating areas, and even outdoor learning areas,” said Hunton Brady vice president Maurizio Maso. “That’s how we ended up locating the cafeteria on one end, with a loggia or covered area, looking out into the green space. And on the other end of the building, we have a terrace, looking out into the student commons area.”
The outdoor space will also include three outdoor courtyards, which will feature benches, power outlets, wireless Internet and six-foot-tall glass slabs that will serve as whiteboards for students and instructors.
Because the building will have a variety of energy-efficient and green features, such as high-efficiency air-conditioning systems, dual-flush toilets and green materials used in the floors, walls and ceilings, Valencia officials are aiming for the building to be certified as a LEED Silver facility. If it receives that certification, it will be the fourth building at Valencia College to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED facility.
In addition to the energy-saving features inside Building 4, the landscaping plan will use native plants, which require less irrigation. The new building will also house a cistern to capture rainwater and re-use it.
The University of Central Florida, which operates a regional campus at Valencia’s Osceola campus, committed $7.5 million to the project. In return, the new building will contain 12 classrooms for UCF, plus an office suite for administration and faculty members.
In conjunction with the groundbreaking, Valencia is also announcing the sale of engraved bricks, which will be embedded in the entry courtyard of Building 4. Each brick will sell for $100; a portion of the money from the brick sales will be used to support scholarships for Osceola County students. For details, go to valenciacollege.edu/Osceola/bricks
The Osceola Campus, founded in 1997, is Valencia’s third largest campus, with about 12,000 students. Osceola is Valencia’s fastest-growing campus, where enrollment has nearly doubled in the last five years.