The Seminole State College District Board of Trustees moved quickly to respond to a recent law change that allows state colleges to pursue public-private partnerships by designating two partnership projects at its meeting on Monday, Aug. 19.
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 as high as 15 stories.
“The Altamonte Springs Campus will advance as quickly as the partnerships develop,” Dr. Joe Sarnovsky, executive vice president, told board members Monday.
The Altamonte Springs Campus, located at the corner of Maitland Boulevard and S.R. 434, opened at capacity in 2008. The campus expanded to 43 acres in 2012 when the College completed the purchase of three adjacent car dealership buildings.
Sarnovsky said the plan is to develop all 43 acres at the campus, creating “a unique kind of co-op” where the partners would serve on an advisory board.
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).
Sarnovsky said all the pieces are in place for the Board to issue a request for proposals (RFPs) for partnerships at the campus later this year.
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, Sarnovsky said.
A second project, the proposed Wellness Center on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus, also was designated by the Board as a P3 project.
The Wellness Center, which includes about 20,000 square feet of space in building H, tennis courts and about 2 acres of adjacent land, is envisioned as “a place to centralize wellness for the community,” Sarnovsky said. The center -- which would serve students, employees as well as the community -- would be developed “like a mall,” with resident partners helping to design and develop the interior spaces, he said.
Possible partners include: a health clinic, a pharmacy, physical therapy office and a fitness center. RFPs for the Wellness Center could be issued this year, Sarnovsky said.
HB 85, which went into effect July 1, gives public entities authority to enter into public-private partnership agreements for facilities that “serve a public purpose.”
In other business, the Board re-elected Scott Howat to his fourth consecutive one-year term as chair and elected Alex Setzer, a Seminole State alum, vice-chair.
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