Major Campus Improvements Planned for MCC Venice
(Bradenton, Fla., May 18, 2005) - Manatee Community College (MCC) Venice will undergo a comprehensive three-phase campus improvement project that will begin in January 2006 with expanded parking and landscaping. Philip VanEss, director of facilities planning and maintenance at MCC, presented a landscape concept plan to the MCC District Board of Trustees at the trustees' scheduled May 18 meeting.
The plan was designed by The RMPK Group of Sarasota. The company held a design charrette that included MCC Venice CEO Joan McGill, students, faculty and staff. Steve Boone, the board's vice chair and an attorney with the firm of Boone, Boone, Boone, Koda and Frook, P.A., served on the review and selection committee for design proposals.
MCC President Dr. Sarah Pappas said the College anticipates spending approximately $1 million during the first year of the three-year phased project that is expected to total $3 million. Starting in Spring 2006, first-year renovations will begin with the addition of shade and palm trees, as many as 250 of a final total of 300 new parking spaces and a circular drop-off area.
When completed, campus improvements will include a landscaped entryway from U.S. 41, an open field recreation area, a reading grove, shaded seating areas, a water feature, and an open area in the parking lot for a popular motorcycle training course.
In response to students' specific requests, an expanded pathway around the lake will offer a better view of a rookery.
VanEss reported that the $3.6 million renovation of MCC Venice's former Life Fitness Center into a Professional Development Center (PDC) is 90 percent complete and will be ready for classes in the Fall term that begins Aug. 22. The two-story, 38,101-square-foot facility will feature 12 regular classrooms, four computer laboratories, two distance learning classrooms and a nursing education technology laboratory. A multi-use space can accommodate 100 people for college and community meetings or be partitioned off into four additional classrooms.
MCC trustees approved a joint recommendation from Pappas, the Foundation for MCC executive director Peg Lowery, and the MCC Naming Committee to approve the recognition of financial contributors to the MCC Venice PDC by naming areas of the building in their honor.
Named rooms approved by the MCC trustees include: The Venice Hospital Foundation Nursing Wing; The Dignam (Annette and Tom) Family of Englewood Social Behavioral Science Classroom; The William G. Selby and Marie Selby Community Room; The Venice Regional Medical Center Nursing Classroom; and the Randy and Gail White (PGT Industries) Classroom.
In other business, Carol Griffin, employment/equity coordinator, presented a Florida Educational Equity Act Report draft that has been submitted to the state. Highlights include an announcement that MCC has narrowed the graduation gap between African-American and white students by 9.4 percent. The number of Hispanic students participating in a College Reach-Out Program (CROP) for middle and high school students increased from 15 percent to 30 percent. MCC was included on Publisher's Pick lists of community colleges by the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education magazine's 2002, 2003 and 2004 issues.