Palm Beach State College’s new Loxahatchee Groves campus will hold its grand opening celebration Tuesday, Feb. 28 with a reception at 4 p.m., a ribbon cutting at 4:30 p.m. and campus tours at 5 p.m.
Located at 15845 Southern Blvd., the site is officially named the Dr. Dennis P. Gallon Campus. The first day of classes is set for Monday, Feb. 27.
Assistant Manager of Facilities Planning & Construction James Storms gave the Town-Crier a sneak peek of the campus Monday.
“It’s a beautiful building,” he said. “It’s actually, I think, one of the most exciting buildings architecturally inside.”
The first building, Building A, is a 50,000-square-foot multipurpose building with offices, three stories of classrooms, computer labs, and a large, flexible lecture hall with motorized blackout shades, space for 229 chairs and 61 tables, and will feature multiple large televisions.
The school is built in accordance with the International Green Construction Code — all of the classrooms have automatic LED lights, and the parking lot has bioswales with plants. The parking spaces in the parking lot are made of impervious concrete, which filters water when it rains that waters the plants in the bioswales and then goes to the retention pond.
The second building will contain labs, medical technology, and robotic and high-technology medical programs. The third building, rounding out the medical technology campus, will house student services, information technology and most likely a cafeteria, Storms said.
The campus has two ponds. One out front is called the Palm Beach State College pond, while the FDOT pond is on the west side of the campus.
There are three buildings planned in the first phase of the campus, Storms said. The first building features admissions, advising and financial aid offices, vending machines, classrooms, labs, testing and tutoring rooms, a mock doctor’s office, a café, a virtual reality computer lab, and multiple places for students to gather throughout the building, many including USB outlets and standard outlets.
The exterior and interior of the building utilize stone, metal and a wood-like material to blend into the surroundings, giving it an industrial modern feel.
“The college wanted it to look high-tech and innovative, and it is,” Storms said. “The whole building has LED lighting in it, and we use a lot of natural daylighting techniques.”
Each floor has its own set of restrooms, as well as locations where students can gather.
“We’ve incorporated extended learning areas in the building,” he said. “Not only in the classroom do you get formal instruction, but as you get out and meet with your fellow students and a teacher comes by, and there’s conversation, that’s where a lot of the learning happens, and we’ve accommodated that.”
Having the shopping center nearby with two connections is convenient for students, whether they want to grab a bite to eat or a drink between classes, without going onto Southern Blvd. The campus’s main entrance is on Southern Blvd., and students can exit through the back entrance that leads to B Road with an intersection that has a traffic signal.
Classes are already forming. Students are encouraged to register and apply online at www.palmbeachstate.edu.
To help celebrate the grand opening of the campus’s first building, a $30 million, three-story facility housing high-technology health science programs and general education programs, RSVP at www.palmbeachstate.edu/newvision, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (561) 868-3212.