Gannon University celebrated Friday as it recognized the modernization of existing facilities and unveiled plans to construct a new $21 million academic center and parking lot at its Ruskin, Fla., campus.
The new project will accommodate more program offerings and students in its rehabilitative science programs.
The expansion will accommodate the Florida area’s health care economy with physician assistant and speech and language therapy programs.
According to a Gannon press release, the Ruskin campus, which welcomed students in August 2015, will be able to quadruple its enrollment in the next decade from its current enrollment of 117 students. The building will stand three stories high and will total 80,000 square feet that will house classrooms, laboratories, faculty offices and other amenities, which include a fitness center and a common student gathering area.
Steve Mauro, Ph.D., vice president for academic administration, said in the release that the campus is a commitment to inspiring students and transforming their lives so that they can go on to transform the growing health care sector in Florida and beyond.
“I can imagine no better place for our students to engage in their education and to seek answers to core questions than our new academic center,” Mauro said.
The inclusion of classrooms, offices and a student common area will create an environment where students and faculty can mingle, and it will create hands-on learning opportunities which will help further develop students for their careers after they leave Gannon.
Sarah Ewing, Ph. D., dean of the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences, said in the press release that the university is excited for the expansion and for what it will bring students and the Ruskin community.
“This new space will allow us to enhance the integration of classroom learning with hands-on application in new lab and fitness facilities,” Ewing said.
“It will provide students the type of practical experience and knowledge to gain a competitive edge in their fields.”
Kendra Walker, Student Government Association president and a junior accounting and finance major, was impressed by Ruskin and its students. She said she could tell how proud they are to be a part of the Gannon community and serve their community in Florida.
Their pride for Gannon and service-oriented mindset was shown by a group of occupational therapy students who were preparing to go do service in Ecuador whom Walker had the opportunity to meet with.
Overall, Walker thought Ruskin was absolutely amazing, and she said having the opportunity to be present at such a historical event was really moving.
“What made me the most proud was to see how quickly Gannon is expanding,” Walker said.
She said it was also moving to see that Gannon is making such an impact.
“Overall, it was an amazing experience that made me proud to be a Golden Knight,” Walker said.