With funding from the state in the amount of $2.5 million, St. Petersburg College (SPC) is building a new learning center for students interested in science, technology, engineering and math.
Last year, SPC received money to fund the new building from the Florida Legislature Public Education Capital Outlay to complete the college's Bay Pines STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Learning Center in the Madiera Beach area. It is close to both the Bay Pines VA Hospital and Madiera Beach Fundamental School.
The $4.7 million building will serve many purposes for the community.
“The center will have SPC classes, professional development activities for Pinellas County school teachers and others, community group activities, marine and environmental independent research being carried out by SPC students, secondary school students, and students from other colleges around the area,” says John Chapin, Dean of natural sciences at SPC
. “It will also be the site for summer camps for various groups underserved in the STEM areas, and a site to partner with other colleges/universities in the area on STEM related projects.”
According to Chapin, SPC's Bay Pines STEM Learning Center will be 10,000-square-feet. It will have two multipurpose lab rooms each holding 24 students, three independent research areas and one large multipurpose room that will seat up to 100 people.
“The lab rooms are very flexible and will support both lab-based and classroom-based activities.”
The building is scheduled to undergo construction in December and is expected to be completed by the end of next year.