SCF Celebrates New 26 West Center with Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

(Bradenton, Fla., Feb. 4, 2021)State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) celebrated a soft opening for its 26 West Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 13. The ceremony began with opening remarks by SCF President Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld.

“SCF would not have achieved this milestone without the strong partnership between SCF, our local employers, the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County and the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation,” said Dr. Probstfeld. “We look forward to facilitating growth among our local community of visionary entrepreneurs and providing ready access to a quality workforce to our talented students.” 

SCF was awarded $3.6 million by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Enterprise Florida through the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund to establish the new center.

The multi-faceted facility will feature four distinct entities:

  • An Academic Partnership Center – A hub that smooths the transition from SCF to partner universities and serves as the new home of the dual enrollment program.
  • SCF’s Coding Academy for talent to develop skills through immersion courses.
  • The 26 West Incubator for startups and entrepreneurs to learn from mentors.
  • The 26 West Creative Studio - A space providing video and production services to empower and inspire community members to support their local entrepreneurs.

“The one commitment Dr. Probstfeld and I made with the Center and activities associated with it is that they will each have intentional connections back to our academic programs and provide experiential teaching and learning opportunities for our faculty and our students,” said Dr. Todd G. Fritch, executive vice president and provost of SCF.

Renovations on Building 8 (SCF’s former library) began in February 2020. Additional funding for the more-than-$8 million project was provided by SCF and the SCF Foundation.

With the state-of-the-art technology center’s opening, SCF is excited to foster a burgeoning community where entrepreneurs can learn, grow and collaborate with successful mentors. SCF aims to connect aspiring entrepreneurs with the knowledge and resources needed to take the challenging initial steps.

The soft opening of SCF’s 26 West Center was held in lieu of a larger gathering to respect the safety of all students, faculty, staff and community members during the COVID-19 pandemic. SCF hopes to host a grand event in the future where the community at large can celebrate this momentous occasion in person.

For partnership opportunities with the Academic Partnership Center and SCF’s 26 West Creative Studio, contact Jamie M. Smith, director of communications and marketing, at

To learn more about the cutting-edge programs offered at the Coding Academy, reach out to Deshjuana Bagley, director of the Coding Academy, at

Startup enterprises or entrepreneurs interested in SCF’s 26 West Incubator can contact Matthew Harper, director of the incubator/accelerator, at

SCF President Dr Probstfeld
  SCF President Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld 

Trustee Bailey and Dr Probstfeld
  SCF Trustee Bailey and Dr. Probstfeld

Executive Vice President & Provost Dr. Fritch
   SCF Executive Vice President & Provost Dr. Todd G. Fritch


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