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New entrance shouldn’t be a priority

A frustrating parking situation, chaotic traffic patterns, a small, sub-par student gym, insufficient classroom space and a program cut scare a few months ago.

Florida Gulf Coast University students are questioning where the university’s priorities lie.

Despite some excitement for an entrance that will give FGCU the look of a more esteemed university, students are overwhelmingly frustrated with the plans of a 75-foot tower and 100-foot-long name plate that will greet them at the school’s entrance this fall.

“I understand the school wants something to make us look more respectable and legitimate, but it seems so unnecessary,” said FGCU junior Kendall Peete. “There’s so many other things they could spend the money on to make our campus look and feel better to prospective and current students. It’s an enormous waste of money.”

Tom Mayo, facilities manager for FGCU, told The News-Press that the project is estimated to cost $1.5 million and will be paid for by the school’s internal budget.

Students around campus for the summer have already taken notice of the construction of the new entrance.

The border of trees around the entrance has been replaced with bright orange construction barrels. The school’s nameplate that was once surrounded by palm trees on the corner of FGCU Boulevard and Ben Hill Griffin Parkway has been removed, leaving behind a pile of dug up dirt.

Since Dunk City was born, and lived a short life following the men’s basketball team’s run in March 2013, the University has had obvious growing pains that haven’t seemed to be fixed. The University has put its focus more on preserving and developing it’s image to the outside world, rather than developing the university itself.

“Everyone in Southwest Florida knows that FGCU is ‘Dunk City’ and the whole zero-to-hero story,” said FGCU student Collin Wellenreiter. “We don’t need anything to validate ourselves. We just need to make the school better one step at a time internally, rather than worrying about what the public sees when they drive by. We should worry about creating the smartest and best graduates in Florida with the most potential in the real world.”

About The Author

Kelli Krebs

Kelli Krebs is a senior at Florida Gulf Coast University and is currently the editor-in-chief at FGCU's campus newspaper, Eagle News. She majors in journalism and minoring in advanced procrastination and works throughout the area as a sports reporter and freelance photographer. When she's not behind a camera, Kelli can be found secretly jamming along to the "Grease" soundtrack in her car, quoting all of the dialogue from Fight Club, or watching Breaking Bad reruns (RIP W.W.). Fan of pre-Jameis Winston Florida State, college basketball, Red Sox Spring Training, and untorrented FC Barcelona games.

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