LAKELAND, FL.- The University of South Florida Polytechnic
has commissioned the acclaimed architectural firm Santiago Calatrava/Festina Lente Services (FL), Inc. to design the first building for the school's new campus in Lakeland, Fla., and update the campus master plan, USF President Dr. Judy Genshaft announced.
Santiago Calatrava will design the 100,000 net square foot USFP Science & Technology building, which will sit on the northernmost corner of the campus at the intersection of Interstate 4 and the Polk Parkway. The Science & Technology building will be the cornerstone of the new campus, and will establish the design scheme for all buildings within phase I of the campus master plan. Groundbreaking is expected late this year, with a scheduled opening in late summer 2012.
Calatrava is best known for his celebrated designs of bridges, transportation centers and cultural institutes throughout the world. The USF Polytechnic facility will be his first design in the southeastern United States.
Almost 70 years ago, legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright made his mark on Lakeland with the Annie Pfieffer Chapel, the first of 10 structures he designed for Florida Southern College and a recent addition to the World Heritage List. With today's announcement, the once-sleepy orange grove town -- now at the center of Florida's High Tech Corridor - will again be home to internationally acclaimed architecture.
The Calatrava commission follows a Florida Chamber of Commerce statewide voter survey that showed support for directing more of the state's economic resources to fostering talent, rather than relying on tourism and in-migration for economic development. USF Polytechnic, designated Florida's only polytechnic in 2008, focuses on hands-on learning that cultivates skills in the applied arts and sciences, business and education.