Florida Southern College President Announces Transformational Gift from Local Donors
LAKELAND, Fla. (Oct. 28, 2005)—Dr. Anne B. Kerr, president of Florida Southern College, announced Friday a gift to the College from Carol and Barney Barnett, both alumni of Florida Southern College and Lakeland community leaders. The Barnetts' gift will enable the College to take a major step in achieving the goals of its strategic plan by providing a new, state-of-the-art residential facility along the shores of Lake Hollingsworth.
This new Residential Life Center will replace the outdated Panhellenic Building, completed in 1956, with two residence halls, named for the Barnetts' children, Wesley and Nicholas.
"This magnificent gift from Carol and Barney Barnett will tremendously transform the quality of the student life experience for all students as well as the appearance of Florida Southern College," said Dr. Kerr. "The new Residential Life Center provides a wonderful enhancement to both our campus and the City of Lakeland."
"We are so pleased to be able to support Dr. Kerr's efforts to take Florida Southern College to the next level of excellence," said Carol Barnett. "We believe in the value of the residential life experience as a key component to undergraduate education, and we are excited about providing this residential life center that will transform the lives of our students while also enhancing the beauty of our community."
Following a national search for the selection of an architect and demolition of the west portion of the existing lakefront dormitory, construction on phase one of the new facility is scheduled to begin in June 2006. The completion of the entire Residential Life Center project is slated for April 2008. Plans for the 100,000 square-foot facility include 195 bedrooms (with a total of 325 beds), meeting rooms, a media and computer center, an entertainment center, 24-hour study rooms, and an outdoor park area between the two structures.
An additional feature of this new facility will be a new parking lot located behind the buildings, thereby providing easy access for students while offering a more scenic view along Lake Hollingsworth Drive.
Plans are underway to partner with the City of Lakeland on a new streetscape project along Lake Hollingsworth between Johnson Avenue and Hollingsworth Road.
"In the life of every great college, there are a few great families who invest in the institution in significant ways," said Dr. Kerr. "This new residential life facility will not only set a new standard for resident life on our campus, but will be a national model for other private colleges and universities."
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