The College of Central Florida will receive $4.3 million in state funding for construction of a Levy Campus. CF received formal notice of the governor’s approval today in a letter from Sen. Dorothy Hukill, District 8.
“This is an exciting day for the College of Central Florida and Levy County,” said Dr. Jim Henningsen, CF president.
This first phase of funding will allow CF to begin planning and infrastructure for the Jack Wilkinson Levy Campus, north of Chiefland. It is expected that the Florida Legislature will appropriate funds for construction and equipment in 2015-2017.
Construction of a Levy Campus has been a priority of CF since 2004 when the CF District Board of Trustees approved a search for suitable properties. In 2006, Former trustee Loy Ann Mann and her husband, Jack, donated 15.4 acres of undeveloped land to the college. Also in 2006, Jack Wilkinson, a longtime Levy county teacher, donated $2.5 million. An additional $1 million has been secured from private donors. In 2007, additional acreage was purchased, expanding the site to 40.4 acres.
CF currently offers classes and full student services at a store-front facility in Chiefland, 114 Rodgers Blvd. Classes have been at capacity for several years as CF enrollment in Levy County has soared. In 2013-2014, CF served more than 1,200 credit and noncredit students from Levy and neighboring Dixie and Gilchrist counties. In 2012, CF began offering Applied Welding Technologies in existing buildings at the Levy property.
The Jack Wilkinson Levy Campus project includes a stand-alone building that will complement the existing welding training facility. Included in the project are laboratories, general purpose classrooms, library, auditorium and exhibition area, student services and offices for instructors, administration and more.