Florida Poly unveils its flagship building this Friday

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Florida’s newest public university officially opens this weekend in a special series of ceremonies with the completion of its iconic central building located on the Lakeland campus off I-4.

Florida Polytechnic University will unveil its flagship Innovation, Science and Technology (IST) Building at a public LAUNCH Ceremony on Saturday. State and university leaders will attend.

Polytechnic graduate Dr. Santiago Calatrava, a world-renowned architect and engineer, designed the 160,000-square-foot IST Building, which will serve as the primary classroom structure when Florida Poly begins offering classes for the fall 2014 semester.

The two-day celebration begins at 7 p.m. on Friday with an exclusive PIVOT gala, open to sponsors and guests, as a “sneak preview” of the new facility illuminated during the evening. Reservations are $360 per person, and are available online at the Florida Poly website.

The outdoor ceremony on Saturday, which is open to the public, begins 9:45 a.m. with remarks from University leadership and special guests on the south side of the IST Building, located at 4700 Research Way in Lakeland.

Attendees will then experience an actual LAUNCH, featuring a pyrotechnics display showering the campus lake adjacent to the IST Building. An open house will follow from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Established by the Legislature on April 20, 2012, Florida Poly is the 12th member of the State University System. The school will present a distinctive curriculum focusing exclusively on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects, as well as applied research, industry partnerships and real-world experience.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.