LAKEWOOD RANCH — Donors cheered the results of their monetary gifts Wednesday as they toured a new $11.2 million facility at the Lakewood Ranch campus of State College of Florida.
It was a sneak preview and benefactor recognition ceremony at the college’s new Medical Technology and Simulation Center, SCF’s first certified “green,” environmentally-friendly building.
The 42,000-square-foot facility will function as a clinical setting for students in a simulated hospital environment, officials said. Its classrooms and laboratories will house those studying nursing, other health professions, education and energy technology management, they said.
Asked why he had donated money to the project, David Band, a Sarasota attorney, replied, “Because education is the heart and soul of the economy. It’s the best thing anybody can support.”
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Another donor addressed a standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 that had gathered in one wing to celebrate the building’s completion.
“I can’t think of an institution that gives the local populace and the local economy the lift that this one does,” said Rex Jensen, president and chief executive officer for Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, developer of Lakewood Ranch and donor of the land upon which the glistening new building rests.
Representing State College of Florida Foundation Inc., which hosted the event, was Peg Lowery, who called the facility a “wonderful community jewel.”
Site work on the building began in 2008, its ground breaking ceremony took place in February 2009, and SCF’s grand opening is slated for Friday, officials said.
Fall classes are slated to begin Monday.
“It’s spectacular,” was the assessment of Al Goldstein as he stood in a room with his name written above it. “It’s always good to give money away, hopefully it does some good.”
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at (941) 745-7031.