Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Community College Opens in Keystone Heights; Campus Trying to Raise $300,000 in 6 Months for Second Building

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Community College Opens in Keystone Heights; Campus Trying to Raise $300,000 in 6 Months for Second Building

Article excerpt

Byline: Anne Sponholtz, County Line correspondent

Santa Fe Community College's Alfred B. and Agnes W. Watson Center, the first college in the Keystone Heights area, is opening its doors to students.

The college expects 250 to 300 students to be enrolled for the spring term when classes begin today.

A combined classroom and administration building has been completed, at 4150 Florida 21, and plans are already in the works for Phase II, another classroom building. That addition is anticipated to be ready by the fall or next spring.

Santa Fe's vice president for development, W. Harvey Sharron Jr., recently gave an overview of the college's progress to Keystone Heights Rotary Club members. Sharron acknowledged the financial contributions made by Rotarian Al Watson and his family that enabled the college to come to the community.

Additionally, other contributions from the Watson family have allowed the college to set up a perpetual scholarship fund, providing annual scholarships for 15 to 20 students.

But Sharron's main focus at the Rotary meeting was to draw attention to the need for additional funds for the second phase of the project. Because of escalating construction costs, the Santa Fe Endowment Foundation, which funds facilities at campuses outside the Gainesville main campus, needs to raise $300,000 over the next six months to complete that next classroom building.

Sharron said he is looking for individuals or businesses willing to pledge $40,000 each for as much as three years. Anyone contributing $40,000 or more will be honored with a plaque outside one of the classrooms in the new building.

"We will work with you, and we have faith," he said.

Sharron showed Rotarians an artist's rendering of the second classroom building, which he said will house state-of-the-art multi-purpose labs. Students will be able to obtain an associate of arts degree without attending the main campus in Gainesville, although they will have to go there or to the college's other campuses for technical degrees or certificates, Sharron said.

Originally, the Keystone campus comprised 20 acres. …

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