FAMU is on the verge of obtaining full funding for the new student services center

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — One step closer. Florida A&M University officials hope that’s all it takes to secure the remaining funding to complete their new student services center.

The university received some good news this weekend. The House and Senate unanimously passed a spending plan that includes the $24.8 million that FAMU needs to complete construction of the center.

He’s now heading straight for Governor Ron DeSantis’ office. If he approves the full $24.8 million, the project can finally be completed. School officials say they are optimistic that the governor will support the project.

About $40 million is the total cost to build the FAMU Student Access and Success Center or CASS building.

To date, the university has received $16.1 million from the legislature, although it received no funding for the project last year.

School officials say FAMU students deserve the new center and the easy-to-access facility and students will have much-needed services and this will be directly linked to an increase in retention and graduation rates.

“This is going to help us help our students have the best campus experience possible, make our city proud, and help the state of Florida,” said Sameer Kapileshwari, associate vice president of facilities at FAMU.

School officials say the center has been a number one priority for the university in recent years.

It will be a one-stop-shop for all student-related services, instead of spreading them inconveniently across campus as they currently are.

Recruitment, admissions, orientation, career development and health, among others, will finally be united under one roof.

Of the $16 million they have already received for construction, project managers say they have spent around 40%. They have the foundations and floor slabs and are starting to put the structural steel in place. When completed, it will be state of the art.

“We have fully automated HVHC systems, we have automated fire alarm systems, we have all the bells and whistles to make it a single structure,” said David Rosenfeld, CASS building project manager at FAMU. .

If all goes according to plan and the university receives the money to complete the project, school officials say the 82,000 square foot facility on Wahnish Way should be complete by 2020.

School officials say the CASS building and its services are expected to help improve the retention rate of freshmen by 5%, from 81% to 86%, and increase the graduation rate by 23%, from 39% to 62%, as well as shorten wait times and streamline transaction processes. .