Florida House Bill 85, which went into effect July 1, 2013, gives public entIties authority to enter into public-private partnership agreements for facilities that "serve a public purpose."
The Seminole State College District Board of Trustees moved quickly to respond to the recent law change by designating two partnership projects at its meeting on Monday, Aug. 19, 2013.
The largest of the projects is another step toward the massive expansion of the Altamonte Springs Campus. A master plan, approved by the Board in December, calls for building nine buildings on the campus, some as tall as 15 stories.
The expansion, to be built in phases as partners are approved, would create more than 1.4 million square feet of space, more than all of Seminole State’s current campuses combined. It would be funded through public-private partnerships (or P3s).
The College, led by the Academic Affairs Division, is also completing a study to identify academic programs for potential partnerships, which will likely be presented to the Board in September. To complete the process, the College is awaiting final zoning approval from the City of Altamonte Springs, which could happen as early as October 2013.
A second project, the proposed Wellness Center on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus, also was designated by the Board as a P3 project.
The plan for the proposed Wellness Center includes renovation and use of about 20,000 square feet in building H, the tennis courts and adjacent land. It is envisioned as “a place to centralize wellness for the community." The center – which would serve students and employees, as well as the community – would be developed “like a mall,” with resident partners helping to design and develop the interior spaces.
Possible partners include a health clinic, a pharmacy, a physical therapy office and a fitness center. RFPs for the Wellness Center could be issued this year.