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FGCU Dedicates New Kleist Health Education Center May 4
4/21/2005

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University invites the public and the media to attend the dedication of the Kleist Health Education Center, 3 p.m., Wednesday, May 4 off FGCU Boulevard near the Sugden Welcome Center.

The new building is the permanent home of the FGCU Kleist Health Education Center started in 2001 in Griffin Hall under the FGCU College of Health Professions. At the time, the Center incorporated the learning programs and displays previously associated with the Lee Health Education Center sponsored by the Lee Memorial Health System. Also at that time, Peter D. and Eleanor A. Kleist and the Kleist Foundation announced a $1 million gift specifically toward a new building on the FGCU campus to house the Center. The State of Florida matched the donation dollar-for-dollar from the Alec P. Courtelis Facility Matching Program.

"The FGCU Kleist Health Education Center is the only one of its kind in Florida," executive director Kathryn Kleist said. "It is designed to help participants of all ages learn to live a healthier lifestyle and show that learning about health is fun."

The Center features life-size displays, dynamic models and multimedia presentations. Interactive, animated exhibits with light and sound - reminiscent of a video arcade - help demonstrate good health habits and nutrition, and explain the cycle of life to children, teens and adults.

Since opening on the FGCU campus, more than 31,000 area students have participated in programs at the Kleist Health Education Center. Nearly 14,000 children attended a program at the FGCU Kleist Health Education Center in 2002-03. By next year, the Center projects annual participation will increase to 18,000 children.

The new building houses three teaching classrooms with theater-style seating, a small auditorium to accommodate growth in attendance and an expansion of programs, such as education about obesity, a large lobby area, three offices, a lounge area, restrooms, a media production room and a communications room.

In addition, the building utilizes an electronic connection to the FGCU Broadcast Building. The connection gives the Center the capability to broadcast selected programs to K-12 classrooms in counties where it is not feasible for students to travel to FGCU.

For more information, contact associate vice president for Community Relations Audrea Anderson at (239) 590-1083.


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