construction set to begin on lake nona campus

On Wednesday, June 22, Valencia College will break ground on the first building of its new Lake Nona Campus, opening opportunities for students to study biomedical and life sciences and earn their associate degrees.

Located in the northeast quadrant of Lake Nona’s “medical city,” the campus will join UCF’s medical school, the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, Nemours Children’s Hospital and the VA Medical Center.

“We are delighted to bring a campus to the Lake Nona community that will allow us to expand our course offerings and develop new programs to support the unique economic development needs of the region,” said Kathleen Plinske, president of the Lake Nona and Osceola campuses.

In addition to offering advanced science and math courses leading to the A.A. degree, the campus will focus on meeting the technical training and employment needs of the surrounding research facilities and hospitals, as well as Orlando International Airport.

Valencia has offered college courses in a wing of Lake Nona High School since 2009, both to the general community and through its Collegiate Academy, where high school students can enroll in advanced placement and dual enrollment courses leading to an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree. There are currently 364 students enrolled in the Collegiate Academy, and 9 out of the top 10 students at Lake Nona High School are Collegiate Academy members.

When it opens in August of 2012, the three-story, 83,000 square-foot building will contain 18 classrooms, six science labs, a library, a bookstore, small café and administrative offices.

Built at a cost of $21.7 million, this is the first of four buildings proposed for the campus, which will eventually accommodate about 5,000 students and total a minimum of 250,000 square feet.

The campus features an environmentally friendly design based on specifications set by Green Building Initiatives, a Portland, Oregon based non-profit. “Green” features include energy saving lights and air conditioning, reflective roofing materials, recycled construction materials and native landscaping that requires very little piped irrigation.

The Lake Nona Campus website has additional information: http://valenciacc.edu/lakenona/

Source: Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College; Valencia News; http://news.valenciacc.edu

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