PBSC Gets $9 Million To Complete Groves Campus

Palm Beach State College leaders are celebrating the news that $9 million allocated by the Florida Legislature to complete the first phase of the school’s fifth campus under construction in Loxahatchee Groves has survived the governor’s veto pen.

Gov. Rick Scott announced his plans to slice approximately $256.1 million in projects before signing the “Florida First” spending plan into law. PBSC’s long-planned campus, which will create greater access to higher education and job training for residents and businesses in Palm Beach County’s west-central area, is not among the cuts.

“The legislature and Gov. Scott understand the need for the new campus and recognize the valuable benefits to our community and our state,’’ PBSC President Ava L. Parker said. “We are deeply appreciative of their funding support, as it will enable us to move full steam ahead to complete construction this year and to prepare to welcome our first class of students.”

The first building will be a 50,000-square-foot multipurpose facility. It is slated for completion this fall on the 75-acre campus on Southern Blvd. west of B Road. It is the major piece of the $30 million first phase that also included building and site design, paving, drainage, utility infrastructure, and the furniture, fixtures and equipment. Some classes and information sessions will be offered at the campus this fall, while a complete schedule of courses will begin in January 2017.

The idea of a possible fifth campus first surfaced in August 2004 when the Board of Trustees authorized former PBSC President Dr. Dennis P. Gallon, who retired last June, to pursue a feasibility study. The Florida Board of Education approved the request to build a fifth campus in April 2006, and the college finalized the purchase of the 75 acres in October 2012. The campus will bear Gallon’s name.

The legislature had already approved $6 million for the campus in 2014. The remaining $15 million from the project is coming from local funds.