Florida State University is set to receive $125 million from the Legislature for a proposed project to build an academic health center in Tallahassee.
The funding will help FSU plan and build the Florida State University Health Science Tallahassee Center. The 137,700-square-foot building, whose funding was backed by Senate President Wilton Simpson, will be the cornerstone of development of an academic health center in partnership with Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare (TMH). The facility will be focused on clinical care, research, biomedical innovation and education, said FSU spokesperson Dennis Schnittker.
The budget represents the consensus between the House and the Senate for the state’s financial priorities. Individual spending items are still subject to the Governor’s veto pen, however. Last year, Gov. Ron DeSantis was thought to have wielded a relatively light touch when he slashed $1.5 billion out of the $101 billion budget.
The center will co-locate FSU’s medical and nursing education with clinical and translational research. The university hopes the health center will attract biomedical-related companies and highly skilled faculty, doctors and medical professionals who want the benefits that come with having an advanced education and health care institution like the center.
The five-story building will house the FSU College of Medicine’s Annex Internal Medicine Residency program, the TMH Family Medical Residency program, the Tallahassee Regional Medical School Campus, clinics, simulation labs, and research space for students. FSU Health will also house at least 35 principal investigators, or an individual responsible for the preparation, conduct, and administration of a research grant. The investigators will produce an estimated $17 million in additional grant funding for research.
The facility is projected to have an economic impact of about $217 million annually and support more than 1,500 jobs directly and indirectly, according to Schnittker. During the three-year construction phase, approximately 1,200 jobs will be created.
Another allocation FSU received was $20 million earmarked for operational enhancement. Schnittker said the funding will allow the university to continue to pursue a further climb in the national rankings by hiring more faculty to reduce the student-to-faculty ratio, update facilities and other goals.
In a statement to Florida Politics, FSU President Richard McCullough thanked the Legislature, as well as Speaker Chris Sprowls, Simpson and DeSantis.
“FSU has demonstrated an incredible return on investment of targeted state funding by becoming the fastest improving institution among the Top 50 public universities. Florida State University is grateful for the continued support and investment of the Florida Legislature,” McCullough said. “The support we have received from the state of Florida over recent years has propelled the upward trajectory of FSU.”
FSU also received millions in other allocations, including:
— $72,042,052 for deferred maintenance of FSU, FSU Panama, and FAMU/FSU engineering program buildings.
— $21,256,475 for the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.
— $8,310,017 for electric infrastructure at FSU’s Magnetic Field Laboratory.
— $10,000,000 for FSU Institute of Child Welfare.
— $1,450,000 for the FSU Multidisciplinary Educational Services Center.
— $1,467,667 for need-based financial aid.
— $1,562,563 for FSU Center for Autism.
— $1,803,970 for a nursing education program grant.
— $500,000 for the FSU Student Veterans Center.
— $200,000 for American Legion’s Boys and Girls State programs.
— $525,000 for FSU’s Behavioral Health Center.