Florida Polytechnic University will soon complete its new Applied Research Center after receiving full requested funding from the state — $14.8 million.
With the funding, the university’s ARC is expected to be completed next spring. The facility will serve as a research hub for the Central Florida region and a magnet for economic development around campus, the university said in a news release.
The university credits the Polk County delegation for the funding to finalize the more than 90,000-square-foot building. The facility’s fate was sealed by Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signing of the state budget Wednesday morning.
Lakeland Sen. Kelli Stargel, who also served as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is a longtime supporter of the facility.
“Florida Polytechnic University continues to enhance the economy in Polk County and the state of Florida,” Stargel said in a statement. “Providing the funding to complete construction of the ARC will allow Florida Poly to be even more important in building our high-tech economy and attracting STEM companies to our county and state.”
The structure will house research and teaching laboratories, student design spaces, conference rooms, faculty offices, and multiple study areas.
The two-story building will be the university’s second academic facility and will be located on the northwest side of campus.
The university began construction of the ARC in the fall of 2019, and the total cost of the building is estimated at $45 million.
“It is gratifying to see how Florida Poly continues to grow, and we are thankful to the Polk County delegation and the state Legislature for believing in our University’s mission and funding this exceptional facility,” Randy K. Avent, President of Florida Poly, said in a news release. “The ARC will be fundamental to the economic growth we envision around campus, by allowing us to expand our research development, attract more industry alliances, and bring capital investment.”