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College Breaks Ground on New Public Safety Institute


January 22, 2014 - A new Public Safety Institute that will provide training in a wide range of criminal justice fields began rising Wednesday during a groundbreaking on the Melbourne campus of Eastern Florida State College.

groundbreaking

College and community leaders gathered to celebrate the event, which marked the start of a planned expansion of the Melbourne campus in coming years to house Eastern Florida’s new Bachelor Degrees and other programs.

College President Dr. Jim Richey said the institute will provide students with the education they need to serve as law enforcement officers, corrections officers, firefighters and in other critical public safety roles.

The state-of-the-art facility will include a mock jail cell, mock courtroom and variety of labs and other facilities where students can study the latest techniques in criminal justice.

It will also serve as a place where veteran public safety professionals can gain additional training and stay abreast of developments in their fields.

“The institute will be a unique learning environment, setting a high standard that will draw attention from public safety professionals around the state and further enhance the college’s reputation,” said Richey.

“Public safety professionals dedicate their lives to protecting all of us, often putting their own lives at risk doing so. They deserve the best education possible, and we will be able to provide it at our new institute.”

Richey also said the building’s sleek design is a model for what the Melbourne campus will look like in the years ahead as other new buildings are constructed and the outside of existing structures renovated to create an inviting collegiate atmosphere like those at major universities.

“That makes the Public Safety Institute a strong statement on our new direction as a state college, and our continuing efforts to offer more programs to better serve students and the workforce needs of Brevard and Central Florida businesses and industries,” he said.

PSI rendering
An artist's rendering shows the exterior of the new Public Safety Institute slated to open on EFSC's Melbourne Campus in February 2015.

Richey went on to thank state lawmakers for approving $14 million for the institute in 2012, and Brevard public safety officials for the “valuable input” on the project.

Richey also cited the college’s Board of Trustees for their strong “leadership and support” in turning the institute into reality.

The new Public Safety Institute will have 66,500-square-feet of space and is scheduled to open its doors in February 2015.

The college is seeking funding from the state Legislature for three other new buildings to house its growing business, health care and science, technology, engineering and math programs.

The programs include nine new Bachelor Degree tracks, two of which were launched in 2013 with seven more scheduled to start in August 2014.

Dozens of students, faculty and law enforcement and other public safety leaders from across Brevard County attended the ground-breaking along with the college’s Board of Trustees, whose members joined Richey in the ceremonial dig.

They are chair Alan Landman, vice chair Steve Charpentier, Dewey Harris, Myra Haley and Moses Harvin.

The facility was designed by BRPH, an international architectural and engineering design firm based in Melbourne. The Ajax Building Corporation of Jacksonville is the project’s construction manager. The company has built numerous public safety complexes and higher education facilities throughout Florida and the southeast.