Governor Rick Scott attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Florida veteran Master Sergeant George Vera’s new home. Master Sergeant George Vera and his family were previously recognized by Governor Scott during the annual State of the State address, and they will be receiving a mortgage-free home from the not-for-profit organization Building Homes for Heroes. Governor Scott’s Fighting for Florida’s Future budget invested $1 million in Building Homes for Heroes.
Governor Scott said, “Like so many of our brave veterans, Master Sergeant Vera and his family have made incredible sacrifices in order to protect our nation and defend our freedom. While we can never thank them enough for their service, this upcoming Independence Day is a important reminder that we must take every opportunity to recognize these heroes. I was proud to present Master Sergeant Vera with the Governor’s Veterans Service Award today and celebrate the groundbreaking for their future home here in Florida. We want Florida to be the most military and veteran-friendly state in the nation, which is why we will continue to make investments in organizations like Building Homes for Heroes.”
Building Homes for Heroes is a not-for-profit organization that builds or modifies homes, and gifts them, mortgage-free, to veterans and their families. Last year, Building Homes for Heroes built or modified 19 homes in Florida, which had a projected value of more than $4 million. The organization partners with more than 300 licensed Florida contractors to build or modify these homes, supporting economic development and the local construction industry. The State of Florida has invested more than $5 million into Building Homes for Heroes since Governor Scott took office.
Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran said, “As the son of two World War II veterans, it was an honor to join Governor Rick Scott today to recognize one of the many brave heroes who has sacrificed to keep our country safe. I am proud that Master Sergeant George Vera and his family have chosen the beautiful Land O’Lakes as the site of their new home and I look forward to celebrating the home’s completion. We will continue to support organizations like Building Homes for Heroes that help our military members as they protect our families and our freedom.”
Master Sergeant Vera joined the Army in 1995. In 2015, his 20th year of service, Sergeant Vera’s base was attacked by suicide bombers using an improvised explosive device (IED). Master Sergeant Vera fought to pull his fellow wounded soldiers away from enemy fire and was shot during his efforts to secure the perimeter. Master Sergeant Vera has been awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and Purple Heart and multiple other heroic commendations.
Tomorrow, June 29th, Governor Rick Scott will attend the groundbreaking ceremony for Florida veteran Master Sergeant George Vera’s new home. Master Sergeant George Vera and his family will be receiving the mortgage-free home from the not-for-profit organization Building Homes for Heroes. Governor Scott’s Fighting for Florida’s Future budget invested $1 million in Building Homes for Heroes.
WHAT: Groundbreaking Ceremony
WHEN: 10:30 AM
WHERE: 4858 Lago Vista Circle
Land O’ Lakes, Florida 34639
State-of-the-art facility on Lake Beresford to be home of university rowing
teams, research center for Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience
Stetson University leaders and athletes gathered on April 28 for a ceremonial groundbreaking of the much-anticipated Sandra Stetson Aquatic Center. Named for a great-granddaughter of the university’s namesake, John B. Stetson, the 10,000-square-foot facility will provide a permanent home for Stetson University Rowing teams, a space for water research and a place for public recreation when it is completed next year.
Sandra Stetson donated $6 million for this project, including $1.5 million which has been placed into an endowment to maintain and operate the building. In addition, Volusia County awarded a $400,000 grant from the ECHO program (for environmental, cultural, historical and outdoor recreation projects) to build public restrooms and public parking on the 10-acre lakefront site, and provide a public launch for canoes and kayaks.
Stetson University leaders and athletes at the ceremonial groundbreaking of the Sandra Stetson Aquatic Center. Pictured left to right are Xavier Mulligan, member of the Stetson University Rowing team; Karen Ryan, Ph. D, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Preston T. Phillips the architect who designed the center; Stetson University President Wendy B. Libby; Sarah Burnham, member of the Stetson University Rowing team; Athletics Director Jeff Altier; and Assistant Coach Stephen Harris.
At the University’s 10-acre lakefront site along Lake Beresford, Stetson University President Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., expressed gratitude to Sandra Stetson for her generosity which is making this cutting-edge facility a reality for future Stetson students and the community.
“This facility is not only a mark of Sandra’s generosity, but it will enshrine the Stetson family name on a university structure once again,” said Libby. “Sandra is a donor who cares about the environment and shares a love for the water. Her generosity allows us to put water recreation and sport, and research together under one roof.”
Just as Lake Beresford is the perfect place for rowing, it is also the best place to research and develop innovative technical, social and political solutions to protect freshwater resources and related environmental concerns. The Aquatic Center will enhance Stetson research at the Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience. While the Institute will remain on campus, the center will serve as its research arm.
“This facility is the realization of a dream,” said Karen Ryan, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “A place for the Institute to call home and a place for our students and faculty to interact with the water and environment around us.”
A rendering shows the new Sandra Stetson Aquatic Center along Lake Beresford.
Stetson leased the site for a decade before purchasing it four years ago for its rowing teams. Currently, the teams keep their crew boats in a greenhouse building on the site. The new aquatic center will provide storage for 60 boats on the first floor, as well as rowing machines for the team’s daily workouts. The center will be used for rowing competitions and as a winter training site for high school and college rowing teams from the north. Stetson University has hosted the fall Rendezvous regatta, the largest racing regatta in Florida with more than 1,100 participants and 3,000 spectators for the past four years.
“The new boathouse is a manifestation of where we are going,” said Sarah Burnham, a member of the Stetson Women’s Rowing Team. “We are growing so much in numbers and speed and it is important to have a boathouse that matches that. It is ushering in a new era that will make Stetson rowing known throughout the country.”
The aquatic center was designed by Preston T. Phillips of Bridgehampton, New York, who was recommended to Stetson University by Sandra Stetson to design and provide the architectural and engineering for the project.
The second floor of the facility will have glass walls on three sides with a balcony that will wrap around three sides of the building. The second-floor ceiling will be vaulted. From the exterior, the roof is designed to resemble a boat. Outside the facility, trails and elevated walkways will lead to the water’s edge. Along Lake Beresford, there will be docks to launch crew boats and a viewing platform that will overlook the lake.
Three-story, 84,000-sq-ft building will be campus hub
Daytona State College ushers in its 60th anniversary with a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, May 4, marking the start of construction on a Student Center/Workforce Transition building that will embody a design and function for modern-era higher education.
The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. on the south side of the Daytona Beach Campus, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd.
“We’re thrilled to get this facility underway,” said DSC President Tom LoBasso, noting his appreciation for legislative support for the $32.6 million project. “Students will gravitate to this building, which will become the focal point of the campus and an iconic structure on International Speedway Boulevard. It will be a center for student engagement with peers, faculty and college personnel, which research shows is key to academic success and degree completion.”
The building’s exterior will feature a coquina façade and bronze portal marking the building’s southeast entrance. A three-story structure, it will be built using green construction principles that are resource-efficient and environmentally responsible.
In addition to academic support services that include the library and Writing Center, the 84,000-square-foot facility will serve as a hub for the Daytona State student-life experience, featuring classrooms, a large events center, conference rooms, offices for student clubs, game room, study commons, cafeteria and coffee lounge, and an outdoor dining area.
The library alone provides academic support to about 1,200 students a week (200 students per day). And users annually access electronic resources over 300,000 times, check out 12,000 books and ask more than 4,000 reference questions.
Students and faculty tap infoguides created by DSC librarians over 100,000 times, with Library Research Instruction given to more than 4,000 students. The Writing Center handles some 5,600 tutoring appointments, 4,300 visits to its specialized learning space called the Attic, and 5,300 visits for general resources use each year. Across all these services, the new facility will enhance digital and information literacy for students, faculty and staff.
To support students from enrollment to graduation, the center also will include Career Services, a one-stop resource center for career planning and job placement, where students can explore career options, research employment opportunities, create resumes, practice interview skills and learn how to dress and act professionally. The center will serve both students seeking work experiences and businesses offering internships, service learning opportunities and/or cooperative education placements. Career Services has seen an 80 percent growth in utilization over the past 2 years, with almost 7,500 student engagements through visits, job-board registrations and in-class presentations last year.
The college’s Student Life Skills class, required for all associate of arts students, also will be offered in the new facility, providing a state-of-the-art teaching and learning experience for students.
To make room for the new building, the college recently razed its early 1970s-era Bergengren Building that through the years housed DSC’s main administrative offices and workforce training programs, but has been little used in recent years.
The Student Center/Workforce Transition building is expected to be completed in spring 2019, with webcam construction viewing available daily.
The building is being designed by New Jersey-based ikon.5 architects, Princeton, N.J. The construction manager for the project is Perry-McCall Construction Inc., Jacksonville.
Tomorrow, March 16, Governor Rick Scott will attend the groundbreaking of OneWeb Satellites’ new manufacturing facility at Space Florida’s Exploration Park.
WHAT: Groundbreaking Ceremony
WHEN: 2:00 PM
WHERE: Space Florida’s Exploration Park
505 Odyssey Way
Merritt Island, FL 32953
Governor Rick Scott attended the groundbreaking of Four Star Freightliner’s new facility in Gadsden County today. This project was made possible with funding from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s Rural Infrastructure Fund and will create ten new jobs in Gadsden County.
Governor Rick Scott said, “It’s great to see companies like Four Star Freightliner succeed in our state. This new facility will positively impact the Gadsden County community and create more jobs for families. We are doing everything we can to make Florida competitive for jobs, especially in rural communities. I look forward to many more years of success and growth for Four Star Freightliner in our state.”
Senator Bill Montford said, “Today’s groundbreaking is great news for the Gadsden County community. Thank you to Governor Scott and the Department of Economic Opportunity for helping make projects like this possible. I look forward to helping the continued growth of businesses and jobs in this community and throughout the Panhandle.”
Representative Ramon Alexander said, “I’d like to congratulate Four Star Freightliner for years of success in our state. I’m excited for the opportunities it will bring to the area. Gadsden County is the ideal location for infrastructure investments and I’m grateful to Governor Scott for his focus on helping to bring jobs to local families.”
Cissy Proctor, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), said, “I am proud that Four Star Freightliner recognizes the opportunities for growth in Gadsden County. For more than two years, DEO has worked with this community to plan and implement economic development strategies that will continue to attract investment and new jobs from businesses like Four Star Freightliner.”
Jerry Kocan, Dealer Principal of Four Star Freightliner, said, “We are grateful that we have found the perfect location along Interstate 10 in Gadsden County for our dealership. The Gadsden County Development Council has been a true partner every step of the way. The cooperation between the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Gadsden County and the Gadsden County Development Council made it possible for us to make this investment in the city of Midway.”
Jim McShane, GCDC Chairman stated, “Gadsden County is centered along the I-10 Manufacturing, Distribution and Logistics Corridor of Florida. Fourteen thousand vehicles a day traverse I-10 in our county. This will only increase with the establishment of a Freight Logistics Zone supported by a grant from the Department of Economic Opportunity. Four Star Freightliner will benefit from the transportation advantages of Gadsden County. We are looking forward to the development of the surrounding acreage to bring even more jobs and capital investment to Gadsden County.”