A Message from Kathleen Plinske, President, Osceola and Lake Nona Campuses
While crafting the state’s budget for the coming year, the Florida legislature allocated $11.9 million in construction funds for the first building of Valencia’s Poinciana Campus. This represents an important step toward establishing a campus in Poinciana. The total cost of planning and construction for the first building of the Poinciana Campus is approximately $22 million.
Groundbreaking could take place in the summer of 2016, and the first building of the Poinciana Campus could be completed within the next two years if the legislature appropriates the final phase of construction funds next year. You can read Senator Soto’s and Representative La Rosa’s announcement of the legislature’s budget allocation online.
A Valencia campus in Poinciana will provide much needed access to higher education. As you have heard from our students, the bus commute from Poinciana to the Osceola Campus can take between two to three hours. The current lack of access to higher education is reflected in educational attainment levels in the Poinciana community. While 26.4 percent of the population 25 years and over in the state of Florida holds a bachelor’s degree or higher, only 18.5 percent of the residents 25 years and older in Poinciana do.
I believe that the addition of a Valencia campus in Poinciana will increase the community’s college-going rates, will increase the community’s educational attainment levels, will increase the community’s job-readiness and career skills and will ultimately increase employment and income levels, and I look forward to our continued collaboration with the Poinciana community!