By Brooke Stiles
Assistant News & Features Editor
Students, faculty, environmentalists and other members of the SWFL community gathered in the dirt lot on Thursday Nov. 21 to break ground on what will be FGCU’s largest academic building on campus: The Water School.
The $58 million building will cover over 100,000 square feet and is projected to be completed in 2021, according to FGCU President Martin.
“This institution continues to change and respond to the needs of our students and the communities we serve,” Martin said to the crowd. “The Water School is going to be an anchor of a significant part of who we are and continue to become.”
The school aims to focus on local issues that have global impacts by bringing together 16 different departments under one roof all to study water.
“There’s no more profound set of issues facing the future of this region than what we do on the water, and a regional university ought to be a part of that,” Martin said. “The other great advantage for us is it will allow every part of this campus to participate in this particular interdisciplinary. Everything that we do in art and music and hydrology and engineering and public health revolves around water, so [the Water School] engages us all.
The research collected by students and faculty from different departments will act as a catalyst to bring change to the health of our waterways on a commune and hopefully global level. Ultimately, FGCU recognizes the need to study water-based issues and through the Water School they will try to build a more water-literate community and society.