PBSC Loxahatchee Groves Campus Celebrates Fifth Anniversary
Palm Beach State College recently celebrated the five-year anniversary of its Loxahatchee Groves campus with a small outdoor reception and updates on enrollment, community partnerships and expansion plans.
The Dennis P. Gallon campus, named in honor of the college’s former longtime president, opened as the fifth campus on Feb. 27, 2017, to more than 700 students. Today, it serves more than 5,000 students annually.
During the district board of trustees meeting at the campus May 10, Kimberly Lancaster, dean of academic affairs, and science professors Dr. Vetaley Stashenko and Candace Walker highlighted enhanced educational technology, particularly the virtual anatomage lab using 3D technology, and strategic partnerships that have elevated instruction and strengthened ties in the western communities. Several community leaders and elected officials attended the meeting and lauded the campus and its leadership.
“Thank you for everything that you do for us,’’ Wellington Mayor Anne Gerwig said.
“We’re looking forward to hopefully getting the Dental & Medical Services Technology Building out here,” Loxahatchee Groves Mayor Robert Shorr added. “We’re looking forward to that next phase.”
Shorr was referring to the college’s plans to build the second building, pending final approval of $25 million that lawmakers included in next year’s state budget. Currently, the campus includes a three-story, 50,000-square-foot multi-purpose building with classrooms, offices, student support services, computer labs and a 250-seat lecture hall. With the new building, the college plans to relocate its dental health education programs currently housed in a 60-year-old structure on the Lake Worth campus.
In addition to its partnership with the Wellington Chamber of Commerce and other businesses and organizations, the campus also has partnered with Loxahatchee Groves Elementary School to host professional development for teachers.
“The Loxahatchee Groves campus is very important to Wellington, as it not only reflects the workforce of the area, but more specifically the unique needs of the Wellington business community,’’ said Scott Sweigart, president of the Wellington Chamber. “As a medical hub, the talent coming out of this campus will no doubt be our future leaders.”
Among the other highlights noted were plans for the Julie and John Kime Library Resource Center on the third-floor landing of the existing building to give students access to some of the services available on other campuses. The college also celebrated philanthropist Frank DiMino.
Following the board meeting, attendees moved outside for the celebration, where President Ava Parker recognized Lancaster for her leadership and campus employees, as well as Gallon and board chair Wendy Link for their roles to help bring the campus to fruition. Gallon expressed again his gratitude for the campus being named in his honor. “I’m very proud of the work that is being carried on here,” he said. “It’s certainly a testament to the hard work and dedication that is going to make this institution continue to be a part of addressing the education needs of the citizens of this county.”
Lancaster said with the pandemic occurring three years after the campus opened, it was important to have the celebration.
“It’s really to refresh and remind the community that Palm Beach State has a presence here and that we’re here to support dual enrollment, the associate in arts degree, health science programs, computer science programs and to support the employers in the community.”