Officials at Hodges University today announced expansion plans for its three area locations, in Ft. Myers, Naples and Immokalee. Leading the projects is a planned three-story, 45,000-square foot building to be constructed at the University’s Ft. Myers campus, adjacent to the three-story, 60,000-square-foot
main campus building. The $12 million facility is planned for construction on the north side of the campus, located at Colonial Boulevard and Winkler Extension and is targeted for completion by early 2012.
“Our institution has seen unprecedented growth, and this new facility will help us maintain the highest quality educational experience that our community expects when they choose Hodges University to achieve their educational and career goals,” said Dr. Jeanette Brock, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs at Hodges University. Since moving to its current Ft. Myers location in 2005, enrollment at the campus has grown nearly 80%.
“As we look forward to the third decade of our existence and beyond, these new building projects signify the beginning of a very exciting new era for Hodges. Our enrollment is growing, and our emphasis on helping students achieve life or career objectives has made our professional programs of study especially popular. We must keep up with this growth by offering state-of-the-art facilities and a safe environment in order to meet the needs of our current and future students.”
The new building will also give the institution the room and facilities to add and expand its degree programs. Officials are researching several possibilities now, but Brock said more study is needed before they announce what those programs could be.
In order to meet the immediate needs of its expanding student population, Hodges has installed a group of portable classrooms at the Ft. Myers campus, which will be in operation at the start of the fall 2010 term, beginning September 9.
“Our plan is to house our ever-expanding English as a Second Language (ESL) program in the portable classrooms as we construct the new building, then move the program to the new facility once it is finished,” said Dave Rice, Vice President of IT and Facilities Management at Hodges.
“The new building will house 19 classrooms, 28 faculty and administrative offices, computer labs, conference rooms and a full service student union with food court. All classrooms will have Smartboards and be video-capture enabled, each seating a maximum of 32 students,” said Rice.
At its main Naples campus building, work will soon begin on adding an additional access road and increased parking to accommodate for the growing student body there. Earlier this year, the University opened a new Science and Technology building which provided new classrooms, computer and science labs, offices and a lecture hall. Additional office space at the building is planned as well.
In Immokalee, the University plans to remodel areas of its learning site there, providing additional classrooms to accommodate the growth in its ESL program. The Hodges campus in Immokalee is located in the former Harvest Center at Jubilation.
The new Ft. Myers campus building is designed by Sheeley Architects of Ft. Myers, and site development work for both Ft. Myers and Naples campuses is being done by Davidson Engineering.
For more information about Hodges University, please call (239) 513-1122.