Moving up and moving out – the changing landscape of FSC

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Leah Schwarting

Senior Editor

 

When the new semester opened, so did the new second floor of the Joe K. and Alberta Blanton Nursing Building. However, Florida Southern College’s changes are by no means over.

FSC is growing, but it is also flanked on one side by Lake Hollingsworth and on three sides by a residential district.

“That’s always challenging because it’s not just a residential district,” Terry Dennis, vice president for finance and administration, said. “It’s a residential historical district.”

The historical district designation comes with its own restrictions. For example, buildings along Frank Lloyd Wright Way are cleared for the college’s, as long as the exteriors remain the same. The college has worked with this in the past, such as with the Frank Lloyd Wright Gift Shop.

Space has also been another issue. Several Student Life offices are all located in what were once houses. The FSC Admissions staff has also grown to the point where some staff have to stay in another former house.

“We have just outgrown this space,” John Grundig, vice president for enrollment management, said, referring to the Admissions Center.

As a result, a new Admissions Center is being planned across from the old one on Callahan Court. There are also plans to build the Lamar Louise Curry Education Center as an auxiliary building for the education school.

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The old building is being torn down, along with the other FSC buildings on Callahan Court. The administration is currently still deciding what to do with the resulting free space, but some options include green space, such as a park, or more parking.

“You know that we’ll use every inch of it for something,” Dennis said.

As for the offices on Callahan, when the Business School moves into the Becker Business Building, the school’s current home in the Rogers Business Building will be empty. The administration is thinking about moving Student Life into Rogers, and possibly the Student Government Association too.

As for now though, the Becker Business Building is currently under construction. Junior business major Elisabeth Miles was a Southern Ambassador last year and gave tours of the campus to potential students and their families. She said that Ambassadors were asked to highlight new things on campus, such as the Honor Walk and the Becker Business Building.

“We were asked to highlight that specifically,” Miles said. “We were also asked to highlight the dance studio since that was still being finished.”

With all of the new construction, some parents were concerned about how the college was getting the money to fund the projects.

“A lot of people do have questions about how they get the money, making sure that’s not from tuition,” Miles said. “It’s not: it’s all from grants and donations.”

The amount of buildings is not the only thing on campus that is growing though: the student body is as well. For the 2011-2012 year FSC had an incoming class of 524 freshmen, while in 2012-2013 it had an incoming class of 537. The next year the incoming class rose to 642, the largest first year class that FSC has ever had.

This year, FSC welcomed a freshman class of 577. Next year the school expects to welcome around 600 first year students.

FSC advertises a small class size, which Grundig said has not been affected by the recent influx of students. With retention going up, faculty can plan class sizes based on the number of students they know are coming in. This leaves the current student-faculty ratio at 13:1.

Academically, the school is also changing. Grundig said that the school is in the “process of considering more majors” like Healthcare Administration and Exercise Science.

According to the Provost’s office, the majors are currently going through the curriculum approval processes. The Exercise Science major will be based out of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, and Healthcare Administration will be based out of the Barnett Business School.

Both majors are aimed at helping students take advantage of new opportunities in the healthcare field.

“It is important that the campus is prepared for each entering class,” Grundig said.

 

Photos by Leah Schwarting