Florida Southern College Breaks Ground On New School Of Physical Therapy
LAKELAND, Fla: Florida Southern College broke ground on its new School of Physical Therapy today, a stunningly designed facility that will supply highly trained physical therapists to healthcare facilities in central Florida and beyond.
Renovation and construction work is underway on an existing 6,500-square-foot building, with an 11,000-square-foot addition to come. The structure will be a great addition to the Dixieland corridor, a historic district in Lakeland. Scheduled to open in August 2019, the building will include faculty offices, classrooms, and a state-of-the-art lab.
"This is another great, historic occasion as we break ground for our new School of Physical Therapy," said FSC President Anne Kerr, proudly introducing the groundbreaking event as part of National Physical Therapy Month. "We will have about 300 students studying here," she added. "This will be one of the finest doctoral programs for physical therapy in the nation."
Dr. Nancy A. Nuzzo, dean and program director for the new School of Physical Therapy, thanked the Trustees of the Board of Directors as well as Florida Southern's administrators for making such a significant investment to equip students "with the skills to make a positive impact on the community, so graduates can begin to fill the need for physical therapists in Polk County."
Graduates of the program will be considered clinical doctors similar to physicians, dentists and podiatrists and provide services in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatients and inpatients clinics, home health agencies and nursing and assisted living facilities.
Pending its candidacy with the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), the School's new doctoral program will accept up to 36 students in each class. Students will complete the program in as few as six semesters. As part of its strong academic curriculum, students will perform clinical rotations throughout the United States and at local facilities such as Watson Clinic and Lakeland Regional Health. Students and faculty also will provide pro bono services to underserved populations and will contribute to the community through educational outreach and screenings.
The architect on the project is Wallis Murphey Boyington Architects, with construction work to be completed by Rodda Construction. Mike Murphey, WMB partner with ROI Solutions, said the building's design is inspired by the work of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, notably including elements reminiscent of the colored-glass "textile blocks" Wright incorporated into his designs for the Florida Southern campus.
"What a wonderful way to expose those design elements to the public, to increase the exposure of Florida Southern to thousands of people each day on Florida Avenue," Murphey said.