Schroeder-Manatee Donates Land for MCC Lakewood Ranch

(Bradenton, Fla., Nov. 13, 2007)  -- At a Nov. 11 meeting, the Schroeder-Manatee Ranch (SMR) Board of Directors approved the donation of 5 acres of land as a site for a second building at Manatee Community College (MCC) Lakewood Ranch, located in Sarasota in Lakewood Ranch Corporate Park at 7131 Professional Parkway East. The 5 acres, worth approximately $1 million in fair market value, are located adjacent to the original 5 acres donated by Schroeder-Manatee Ranch for the existing Center for Innovation and Technology (CIT), which will celebrate its fifth anniversary in January 2008.

"We believe in the value of higher education and see MCC as excellent partners," notes SMR President and CEO Rex Jensen. "The campus already plays a vital role in the community. Businesses, nonprofits, Chambers of Commerce and arts organizations - as well as individuals - benefit greatly by the services offered at MCC."

"We are so pleased that the Schroeder-Manatee board saw the need for MCC to grow to meet the educational needs at our Lakewood Ranch location. It's this kind of community and college partnership that allows us to continue offering high-quality programs that meet the needs of students as well as businesses," said MCC President Dr. Sarah Pappas.

Spurred by mid-county growth and dramatic enrollment increases at the MCC Lakewood Ranch satellite, the MCC District Board of Trustees sought and received $919,759 in state Public Education Capitol Outlay (PECO) funds for the planning phase of the new building. It will house education and health-related programs, including proposed medical technology and simulation courses. Construction of the 40,000-square-foot building is projected to begin in the 2008-09 fiscal year. It is anticipated that another $8 million in PECO funds will be needed from the Legislature for construction. The SMR contribution will be completed upon funding by the Legislature.

Located between MCC Bradenton and MCC Venice, the Lakewood Ranch site makes credit and noncredit college programs accessible to students east of I-75 and throughout the college's service district in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Since opening in 2003, the list of Lakewood Ranch businesses, civic and nonprofit organizations that use the CIT has continued to rise. Flexible meeting rooms and state-of-the-art technology make it a popular training and seminar site.

Lakewood Ranch is home to more than 500 businesses and 12,000 residents. There are currently five public schools and many private ones - from preschool to medical school. The developer has a long-standing tradition of contributing land in order to build schools - usually before the demand.

 Collegewide, MCC credit student headcount reached an all-time high of 9, 912 in Fall 2007. 

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