Commissioners Pledge $250,000 to Establish FGCU Center in Port Charlotte
FORT MYERS, FL - On April 9, the Charlotte County Board of Commissioners committed $250,000 over the next five years to the Florida Gulf Coast University Charlotte Center initiative to help with personnel, operation and marketing costs for the Center, including a full-time FGCU “information broker” to residents.
The citizens of Charlotte County want FGCU to open a center just like the one it announced last year in Collier, to help build up the county’s base of leaders, administrators and professionals. To make that happen, $500,000 over the next five years from the community is necessary because state money is not available to replicate campuses. The Commission’s commitment Tuesday will provide $50,000 a year, half the annual amount needed.
President William C. Merwin told about 100 Charlotte County movers and shakers at the home of FGCU Foundation board member Brian Presley, “We need the community’s help to make this a reality.”
Earlier this year, the Charlotte County Cultural Center board agreed to allow FGCU to use the building for educational goals and for information about programs, FGCU Foundation board member Dave Powell said.
A newly installed information line, local to Charlotte residents, (941) 255-7414, helps Charlotte residents stay up to date about progress on their new center. In addition, Merwin announced associate vice president for Community Relations and Marketing Audrea Anderson would coordinate program efforts until a director is hired.
“We are compiling an interest list for several programs that may be offered at the Florida Gulf Coast University Charlotte Center this fall and beyond,” Anderson said. “Right now it looks as though the criminal justice courses via distance learning will begin in August. While these courses are being offered by distance, students will meet at the Center, have access to a staff member once a week and meet with the professor once a month.”
Other programs in elementary education, nursing and other health care programs, continuing education, and certification classes are under consideration
“We will announce other programs as prospective students indicate an interest,” Anderson said.
Powell and Presley are leading the fundraising initiative, in conjunction with FGCU’s director of campaigns Linda Lehtomaa.
Pledge cards and further information are available by calling Powell at (941) 350-0884, Presley at (941) 505-9017, or Lehtomaa at (941) 590-1071. FGCU is Florida's 10th state university.