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SPC kicks off building renovation project
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SEMINOLE – That sound of construction you may hear over the next few months in the library at St. Petersburg College is the start of a $4.1 million renovation project that will give Seminole campus faculty and students more space.

Provost Jim Olliver and Project Manager John White detailed plans for the construction Oct. 23 at Seminole City Hall.

In addition to the library, upgrades also are in the works for the Technology Learning Center. The work is scheduled to be completed by the end of June.

The library phase will include a new second-floor office for SPC Dean of Natural Sciences John Chapin and a new, larger home for the staff of the Institute of the Strategic Policy Solutions, which is now in a small space on the first floor of the library.

“Our faculty has grown significantly since we opened,” said Olliver. “We’ve had them in cubicles and in some cases, in closets. Through this construction we’ll be able to add offices for all of our faculty on campus.”

There also will be a new, tiered classroom, designed after the city of Seminole council chambers, which will hold 75 students and be used for the school’s Public Policy program.

A few steps to the west of the library, the Technology Learning Center will be upgraded with features designed for students to both enjoy and excel.

Most noticeable, White said, will be the west side of the building, which will be expanded into the first row of the current parking lot.

“We’ll have new academic space on the west side of the TL building,” said White. “The first row of parking will actually get moved out and we’ll have a whole new area there.”

“This area will have something near and dear to my heart for a

long time and that’s new science labs,” said Olliver. “We’ve only been able to offer biological science and environmental sciences on our campus. This will allow us to offer chemistry and microbiology, which is something our students have been asking for.”

Plans also call for additional faculty offices on the north side of the building.

“What we’re doing is putting our financial resources into improving student learning by getting students the tutorial and other class support services they need,” said Olliver. “So what we’re doing is clustering faculty offices near the learning commons so the faculty will actually volunteer and tutor the students outside of the classroom. We feel that’s going to help with our (student) retention overall.”

Olliver said the open area on the northeast corner of the TL building would be converted into an enclosed patio to act as a student lounge. Among the amenities will be coffee, snacks and three large HD-TVs. There also will be technology available for students to use social media.

Inside the commons itself, plans are to take out a few walls and add a new writing studio and a math lab.

Tampa contractor A.D. Morgan will handle the project.
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