GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)-- A college held a ceremony today to kick-start the construction of a new building to offer more resources in the community.
Santa Fe College hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Blount Campus on the Northwest corner of West University Avenue and Northwest Sixth Street in Gainesville.
The campus will double the size of the college's Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED) that currently exists on the property.
“This is an entrepreneurial innovation economy and the renaissance has begun,” said Jackson Sasser, the president for Santa Fe College. “Santa Fe is glad to be an anchor in that process."
One of the goals is to increase higher education opportunities for underserved communities in downtown and east Gainesville.
“President [Kent] Fuchs and I and others conducted a study and 44.6% of African-American children live in poverty in Alachua County—that’s immoral,” Sasser said. “What this campus will do is open doors to those families, their parents and allow these children to grow up and have an opportunity that many of us enjoy."
The three-story, 86,311 square-foot building will provide business and IT degree programs and it will hold a library and study spaces.
A $4.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) will fund the project.