December 17, 2020 – Another milestone in the expansion of the Santa Fe College Blount Center happened Tuesday morning as the final metal beam was installed in Blount Hall, SF’s newest building, located on the northwest corner of West University Avenue and North Sixth Street. Blount Hall is on track to open for SF students and small business entrepreneurs beginning in the spring of 2022.
The SF District Board of Trustees members were joined by dignitaries from Parrish-McCall, as well as SF President Paul Broadie II, Ph.D., and college leadership at the event. After the beam signing, a tradition in large-scale construction projects, crews were expected to install the beam Thursday. Once completed, work can begin in earnest on the interior of the new three-story, 87,366 square-foot facility.
Upon its opening, the newly expanded Blount Campus will offer the same classes currently offered at the Blount Center, plus add the college’s Business and IT programs, which are currently held at the Northwest Campus. There will also be full array of student services including admissions, financial aid, academic advising as well as a library and study spaces for both small and larger groups of students. The expansion is also a part of the college’s plans to increase access to a college education within the service district. The downtown facility is a convenient location for underserved communities in and around the City of Gainesville Funding for the project comes from both the private and public sector, including more than $13 million in state funding, a $4.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and $1 million in private support. Funding from the EDA will specifically be used for the expansion of the CIED’s business incubation space for local entrepreneurs in order to strengthen the region’s economy and provide students the opportunity to work and learn from local start-up companies and business leaders.