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Oviedo Campus turns 10; College shapes future

From Left: U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster; trustees Cindy Drago and Lisa Greer; Dr. E. Ann McGee; former board chairs Beth Hattaway and Dede Schaffner; former Oviedo Campus Dean Suzanne Tesinsky; and Oviedo Provost Dr. Lisa Valentino.

Seminole State College of Florida celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Oviedo Campus on Friday, March 18, with a ceremony and presentation of the proposed new master plan for the campus’s next 10 years.

The Oviedo Campus, Seminole State’s first major expansion, opened in January 2001 to meet the growing educational needs of residents in eastern Seminole County. The campus, located two miles from the University of Central Florida, offers convenient access to two-year degrees, certificates and adult education. Enrollments have grown so much that Oviedo will exceed capacity by this fall.

“This campus has improved with age,” said Dr. E. Ann McGee, president of Seminole State College. “When we opened our doors 10 years ago, we had only 1,800 students. This semester, we’ll serve 4,300 students.”

Seminole State is working with architects from C.T. Hsu + Associates to develop a new master plan for future growth at campus. The College’s District Board of Trustees will consider two versions of the proposed plan at its meeting on Monday, March 21.

Among the features envisioned in the master plan:

  • Three new buildings, totaling approximately 295,000 square feet, for classrooms, labs and support services.
  • A 5,000-square-foot multipurpose room for jointly sponsored community and educational activities.
  • A pedestrian and bike path/nature trail around the campus, plus a loop road around the campus.
  • A boardwalk to enhance visitors' experience of the campus's water features and natural setting.
  • Open-air, covered canopies linking buildings.
  • Enhancements to the Lockwood Boulevard entrance, including landscaping and signage.
  • The addition of more than 1,000 parking spaces.

The master plan, which hasn’t been updated since 1997, is designed to accommodate the campus’s projected growth while preserving its sensitive environment and intimate atmosphere. The campus sits on 180 acres, including a 120-acre nature preserve.

A nature trail will allow visitors to “loop the entire campus on bike or foot,” said Jim Hughes, principal project manager with C. T. + Associates. After the Board of Trustees identifies its choice, the public will be able to comment on the plan. On March 31, the community is invited to a meeting in the Oviedo Campus’ College Center from 7-8 p.m. to offer feedback.

“It’s amazing to think what’s being built here for future generations,” McGee said.

Among the officials who attended the 10th anniversary celebration were Rep. Daniel Webster; University of Central Florida President Dr. John Hitt; Seminole County School Board Chairman Dede Schaffner; and Oviedo Councilwoman Cindy Drago, who is also a member of the College’s District Board of Trustees.

To celebrate the anniversary, the college placed a time capsule, to be opened in 2026, in the campus’s clock tower.

For more information about the Oviedo Campus, visit the campus website.

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