Published: Wednesday, October 15, 2008
In order to make student commuting easier, Pensacola Junior College and the Santa Rosa County School District are teaming up to build a new campus that will cost about $11 million.
“Unlike what was said by other sources, the official name of our new campus is the South Santa Rosa campus. It respects not only the Gulf Breeze area, but all of South Santa Rosa County,” said Dr. Edward Meadows, PJC president, who is excited about the new campus.
The new six-building campus will be shared with the Santa Rosa County School District, and located on the 100-acre land across from Woodlawn Beach Middle School on Highway 98 and Nantahala Road in Gulf Breeze.
Within three years, the first of the six buildings will be completed. That building will house college classrooms, offices and extra space for the Santa Rosa County School District to use.
Being the new president, Meadows said he doesn’t take all the credit for prompting the start of this new campus. He gave substantial credit to the previous president of PJC, Dr. Thomas Delaino, and PJC’s director of Government Relations, Larry Bracken. Bracken is credited for getting the project approved through the state of Florida.
Meadows said he hopes this campus will promote PJC’s growth.
“I define growth as always getting better and not settling for average. PJC will always be getting better, and we have a great opportunity to expand and become a stronger institution,” he said.
Even though the new South Santa Rosa campus seems like a beacon of hope for PJC, there are some people who have doubts about the timing of this project.
Terrance Young, president of the Student Government Association, said he thinks this new endeavor is the right idea for PJC but happening at the wrong time.
“We have much bigger fish to fry than building a new campus,” Young said.
The “fish” Young is referring too are budget cuts, student complaints and two new facilities that are being constructed on campus.
“Why are we going to spend money on building a new campus when our school has faced over a million-dollar budget cut within the last year?” asked Young.